Earley makes welcome comeback to give Kildare timely boost
There was good news for Kildare supporters as Dermot Earley came on as a second-half substitute as the Lilywhites drew with Sligo in a challenge game at Stephen O'Rourke Memorial Park yesterday.
The game was organised to commemorate the official opening of Ballykelly's brand new facilities and the sizeable home contingent had plenty to cheer about early on as Kildare flew out of the traps.
A brilliant 10th-minute goal by the excellent Keith Cribbin pushed Kildare in front. At that stage, Sligo were struggling to cope with the movement of the Kildare forwards, all of whom scored in the first half.
But with Tony Taylor gradually getting into the game at midfield after a strong start by Darryl Flynn and David Whyte, the visitors clawed themselves back into proceedings.
A 25th-minute penalty goal from Stephen Coen left it at 1-10 to 1-7 at half-time, but with Johnny Doyle in cracking form after the break, Kildare pulled clear again.
Sligo continued to plug away, though, and Colm Magee fired into the corner of the net in the 51st minute after taking a pass from Eamonn O'Hara.
Points from O'Hara, Magee and Coen saw the men in black hit the front but a brace from Doyle gave Kildare the lead with time running out before Noel Maguire popped up to secure a draw.
Scorers -- Kildare: J Doyle 0-7 (0-4f), K Cribbin 1-2, J Kavanagh, R Sweeney 0-2 each, A Smith, E Callaghan, K Donnelly 0-1 each Sligo: S Coen (1-0 pen, 0-3f), C Magee (0-4f) 1-4 each, E O'Hara 0-2, N Maguire, A Costello, S Davey 0-1 each.
Kildare -- S McCormack; P Kelly, G White, H McGrillen; K Cribbin, B Flanagan, M O'Flaherty; D Flynn, D Whyte; J Kavanagh, J Doyle, R Sweeney; A Smith, E Callaghan, K Donnelly. Subs: T O'Connor for Donnelly (55); D Earley for Kavanagh (60); D Hendy for White (63)
Sligo -- P Greene; C Harrison, N Maguire, R Donovan; K Cawley, B Phillips, J Davey; T Taylor, S Gilmartin; A Costello, E O'Hara, S Davey; S Coen, K Sweeney, C Magee.
Ref -- E Kinsella (Laois).