Captain Comerford propels Lilies to victory over Dubs
Wonderful performances from team captain John Comerford and midfielder Kevin Feely were the features of Kildare's defeat of Dublin in the first round at Newbridge on Saturday.
Dublin produced a strong second-half fight-back, with substitute Donagh McCabe having a significant impact, but the Blues were over-reliant on Ciaran Kilkenny for scores and struggled to cope with the intense tackling of the more powerful Kildare players.
The visitors began well, with two points from Kilkenny, but Kildare restored parity through Pádraig Fogarty and Conor Murphy. Then, when Fogarty was rugby-tackled to the ground, Feely calmly dispatched the resultant penalty in the 13th minute.
Fionn Dowling added another goal to give the home side a 2-5 to 0-6 interval lead.
Dublin hit back in the second half and when Comerford fouled McCabe for a penalty in the 47th minute, Kilkenny sent Mark Donnellan the wrong way with a convincing finish.
With less than three minutes remaining, he then converted a free to leave just a point between the sides. However, Kildare finished strongly with three points from Seán Hurley, Philip Cocoman and a magnificent effort by Feely.
Dublin had midfielder Danny Byrne sent off in the dying moments on a second yellow card.
Scorers -- Kildare: K Feely 1-3 (1-0 pen), F Dowling 1-0, S Hurley (0-2f), P Cocoman 0-2 each, P Cribbin, C Murphy, P Fogarty 0-1 each. Dublin: C Kilkenny 1-7 (1-0 pen, 0-5fs), F Duffy, A Caffrey 0-1 each.
Kildare -- M Donnellan; M Konstantin, G Farrell, W Kealy; M Duke, J Comerford, J Byrne; S Hurley, K Feely; L McGovern, P Cocoman, P Cribbin; C Murphy, P Fogarty, F Dowling. Subs: B Egan for Kealy (ht); T Gibbons for Cribbin (52)
Dublin -- JB Carthy; M Durkan, P O'Curry, A Fallon; M Gibbs, L Fletcher, S Prendergast; E Ó Conghaile, D Byrne; F Duffy, A Caffrey, N O'Flynn; S Stewart, C Kilkenny, H Dawson. Subs: D McCabe for O'Flynn (ht); P Maguire for Prendergast (34); D Shatwell for Dawson (44); C Cronin for Gibbs (52); F Conway for McGovern (56)
Ref -- E Craul (Wicklow)