KILDRESS have advanced to meet Killeeshil in the next stage of the promotion play-offs after a 12-point victory over Castlederg at Marius McHugh Park on Sunday afternoon.
The home side pressed from the get-go but saw an early wide from Paddy Lynch before Brian Coyle’s shot on goal was palmed away by Kildress net-minder Gerard Grimes.
In contrast Kildress raced up the field with their first attack and got off the mark through defender Aaron Loughran. Play was halted for a lengthy spell as Castlederg’s Cahill Logue received treatment for a shoulder injury and when it resumed the travelling side soon doubled their advantage as Dessie Tracey added his name to the scoresheet.
On six minutes the hosts opened their account through a well converted free from Mark Corry but Kildress hit back two minutes later as Caolan McNamee did well to find Adam Connolly who obligingly split the posts.
Action then moved to the opposite end of the field and Castlederg were extremely unlucky to see a double goalline clearance from Bradley Devine after the target man picked up a quick free from Corry.
A minute later Gerard Grimes was forced to make yet another fine stop, this time from Paddy Lynch after good build up play from Steafain Gallen.
The scoring resumed on 17 minutes up at the other end as Matthew McGuigan claimed his first of the day with a lovely point from close range.
The hosts remained under heavy pressure but Stefan Deery and co. were holding their own at the back.
With five minutes of the half remaining, McGuigan did well to guide a free from out by the sideline over the bar in spite of the glare of the setting sun.
Castlederg continued to push forward looking for a response but Corry and Coyle struck wide of the posts while a shot on goal from Gallen was saved by Grimes. As normal time elapsed, McGuigan sent his third of the day just between the uprights.
Bradley Devine then saw his shot sail narrowly wide for the home side before another McGuigan effort and a score from Phillip Lennon completed a fine first half for Kildress who went in 0-8 to 0-2 in front at the interval.
After the break Matthew McGuigan wasted no time in adding to his already impressive individual tally as he worked the ball across the front of goal before sending a clever chip to the back of the net. Lennon soon followed up with a quickfire point for the visitors with a 10-point gap now emerging between the sides.
The Derg men sought a rapid response and they almost found one as Sean Harper rattled the crossbar but it ultimately found its way over the bar after a deflection from Jack Ramsey. Moments later there was more action in front of goals as Phillip Lennon forced a great save from home custodian Tony McGlinchey.
The hosts bad luck continued as a Gallen shot finished just wide.
Kildress’s scoring dominance continued with a shot from Jonathan Connolly which hung in the air before sailing over the bar.
As the fog descended, Castlederg’s woes continued as Corry sent a free to the left and wide.
Again Kildress made light of the conditions and went further in front through Adam Connolly as the action moved to the other end of the field.
McGuigan then popped up with another score for Kildress as he guided over from a tight angle.
With 10 minutes to go there was a telling sign that it was not to be their day as Castlederg’s
Mark Corry saw an effort hit the post while a later shot from Bradley Devine came blasting back out of defence.
Gallen did find range for the home side before Paul Connolly then put his name on the scoresheet for the visitors.
The pair would swap the last scores of the game with Connolly pointing from a free before Gallen had the last say for Castlederg.