Kevin Egan reports from Bord na Mona O’Connor Park
FOR KILDARE, GOING from taking on Longford today to taking on Dublin in seven days will be a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire, if the frying pan is fresh out of the drawer and still at room temperature.
Seven days ago, Longford caused Kildare no end of problems with a sharp and purposeful performance in their drawn encounter, but the contrast between their two displays couldn’t have been sharper.
In the first half of the draw, they scored 1-8 into the wind.
Today they played with the wind in the first half, didn’t score until the 18th minute, posted just four points by half time, while five of their starting six forwards didn’t score and the other [Michael Quinn] scored two close range frees, both in second-half injury-time.
Kildare manager Cian O’Neill won’t be short of areas where he’ll want to find improvement in advance of their clash with Dublin either, but he’ll have a lot more by way of positive aspects to savour as well, from their defensive solidity right up to a masterful play-making performance from Ben McCormack up front.
Ben McCormack impressed for Kildare.
Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
There was nothing to savour at all in the first quarter, as the two sides played for over 17 minutes without raising a flag.
David McGivney finally got Longford off the mark in the 18th minute but any sense of relief was short lived as Kildare won the restart and found Fergal Conway, who exploded through the Longford defence and produced a thunderous finish that crashed off the crossbar and into the net.
Longford tried to rally, and both McGivney and Joseph Hagan kicked magnificent points before half time, but 1-4 to 0-4 left them with a lot to do as they prepared to face into a fresh breeze that appeared to be getting even stronger as the game went on.
Within eight minutes of the restart, their race was run.
Kildare fired over six points in that time through a variety of different attacking approaches, and even at that early stage it was clear that only the margin of victory was in doubt.
Moolick, Fergal Conway, Neil Flynn and David Slattery all picked off some memorable second half points against a Longford side that simply couldn’t recapture the zest of a week before, though it remains to be seen if this comfortable outing against a struggling Longford side will be of much use in advance of the Lily Whites’ trip to Croke Park to face Dublin next Sunday.
Scorers for Kildare: Neil Flynn 0-5 (0-4f), Fergal Conway 1-1, Adam Tyrrell (0-2f) & Tommy Moolick 0-3 each, Ben McCormack 0-2, Paddy Brophy, David Slattery, Niall Kelly & Keith Cribbin 0-1 each.
Scorers for Longford: David McGivney 0-5 (0-4f), Michael Quinn 0-2f, Joseph Hagan, Andrew Farrell & Darren Quinn 0-1 each.
1 Mark Donnellan
2 Mark Dempsey
25 Mick O’Grady
5 Peter Kelly
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3 David Hyland
6 Eoin Doyle
7 Keith Cribbin
of the team
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8 Kevin Feely
9 Fergal Conway
10 David Slattery
11 Ben McCormack
18 Tommy Moolick
13 Adam Tyrrell
14 Paddy Brophy
17 Jimmy Hyland
15 Neil Flynn for J Hyland (22)
22 Niall Kelly for Feely (56)
26 Cathal McNally for McCormack (59)
12 Eoghan O’Flaherty for Brophy (61)
24 Chris Healy for Slattery (64)
23 Kevin O’Callaghan for Tyrell (67)
1 Paddy Collum
2 Patrick Fox
10 Donal McElligott
4 Barry O’Farrell
5 Colm P Smyth
6 Pádraig McCormack
7 Darren Quinn
8 John Keegan
9 David McGivney
18 Gary Rogers
11 Barry McKeon
12 Michael Quinn
13 Daniel Mimnagh
14 James McGivney
15 Darragh Doherty
3 Andrew Farrell for McKeon (22)
20 Joseph Hagan for Doherty (31)
19 Aidan McElligott for Rogers (51)
17 Mark Hughes Keegan (57)
Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)
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