Tyrone are up and running with a first Allianz Football League win at the third time of asking but they had to dig deep at O'Neills Healy Park against Kildare in a game of multiple goal chances.
Only two of those were taken, and it was the home side, with second-half strikes from Conn Kilkpatrick and Darren McCurry, who made them count, squeezing a narrow one-point win out of a dogged contest played in horrendous weather conditions.
Kildare now face a battle to avoid an immediate return to Division 2, having picked up just one point from their first three games.
Tyrone will welcome back their suspended foursome for next weekend’s Ulster derby at Ballybofey, and things are beginning to look a little more positive for the All-Ireland champions.
Kildare had Niall Morgan’s kick-out under constant pressure in the opening half, forcing the All-Star goalkeeper to go long, and mopping up more than their share of possession around the middle.
That provided Daniel Flynn with an ample supply of ball with which to bring Paul Cribbin and Jimmy Hyland into play.
Flynn was the game’s most creative force during that opening period, setting up three scores and firing over a couple of gems himself.
Tyrone, with a much-changed side from their defeat to Armagh, struggled to achieve any cohesion, and two Darren McCurry scores were all they had to show for 20 minutes of toil, as they fell behind by 0-06 to 0-02, with Cribbin and Hyland hitting two each for the Lilywhites.
But Darragh Canavan was warming to the task and posed a major threat. Remarkably he had three golden goal chances but finished the half scoreless.
First he just failed to get the killer touch to Conor McKenna’s pass, then he saw a shot well saved by Mark Donaldson, and late in the half, sent a screamer crashing against the crossbar.
Kildare could have had a bizarre goal themselves, when they turned over possession with 'keeper Morgan stranded 50 metres off his line, but Cormac Munroe got back to scramble Flynn’s effort away for a ’45, which was converted by goalkeeper Donnellan.
Morgan stepped up to send a ’45 between the posts at the other end, but Hyland’s second sent Kildare in with a 0-08 to 0-04 interval lead.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Conor McKenna and Canavan combined to send Conn Kilpatrick in for a goal, and the chances continued to flow, with McCurry smashing a shot against the crossbar.
Kildare also had opportunities to hit the net, but Cribbin was denied by an upright, and substitute Darragh Kirwan brought a superb save from Niall Morgan.
The Red Hands did finally hit the net through McCurry in the 58th minute to go in front, but Kirwan brought the sides level again.
Tyrone eased closer to victory with scores from McCurry and Richie Donnelly, but Kildare had a golden opportunity to snatch victory in stoppage time when Flynn broke clear but drilled his shot clear of the crossbar.
Tyrone: N Morgan (0-01, '45); C Munroe, R Brennan, F Burns; N Sludden, J Munroe, C Meyler; P McNulty, C Kilpatrick (1-00); D Canavan, C McKenna, N Donnelly; D McCurry (1-03, 0-01f), B Kennedy, P Donaghy (0-02, 1f).
Subs: R Donnelly (0-01) for McNulty (43), C McShane for McKenna (53), B McDonnell for Donaghy (57), L Rafferty for Kilpatrick (68)
Kildare: M Donnellan (0-02, 1f, 1 ’45); M O’Grady, S Ryan, R Houlihan; T Archbold, J Murray, D Ryan; A Masterson, K Flynn; C Kavanagh, B McCormack, P Cribbin (0-02); P Woodgate (0-02, 1m), D Flynn (0-03), J Hyland (0-02).
Subs: A Beirne for Kavanagh (48), F Conway for Cribbin (55), D Kirwan (0-01) for McCormack (57), J Sargent for Ryan (59), D Hyland for Murray (68)
Referee: M McNally (Monaghan).