Kildare gallop away from Down late on to advance in the qualifiers
Published 13/07/2014 | 15:53
Kildare kicked 1-6 without reply towards the end of the game to end Down's All-Ireland campaign on a scoreline of 1-18 to 0-11 at Pairc Esler in Newry.
Kildare led by five at the break but a Benny Coulter inspired Down were level within seven minutes of the restart but Kildare's fitness told and they dominated the last 15 minutes and they ran out 10-point winners.
The Lilywhites had a considerable breeze at their backs and began well with fine scores from Gary White and Cathal McNally but a braces of frees from Donal O'Hare brace cancelled those efforts out.
The dangerous Padraig Fogarty, Eamonn Callaghan and Padraig O'Neill rattled off points for Kildare who were continually failing to add to their tally.
The St Laurence's combination of Fogarty and O'Neill saw the latter fist over for Kildare in the 27th minute and Alan Smith, who replaced the black-carded Eamonn Callaghan, was next on the scoresheet.
Benny Coulter got Down's first point from play in first half injury time and it was a score they required but Kildare ended the scoring in the opening half through Eoghan O Flatharta and led by 0-8 to 0-3 at the break.
Down scored five on the trot in the first seven minutes off the second half with Benny Coulter, who could have had a goal as well, scoring three of them.
Alan Smith lifted the siege following great work from Padraig Fogarty and the Lilywhites were back in front and Fogarty pointed a free soon afterwards.
Declan Rooney and Conor McGinn drew Down level with Benny Coulter continuing to cause major problems.
Cathal McNally was denied a goal by Michael Cunningham but Fogarty converted the resulting 45 and Jason Ryan's men led once more and Emmett Bolton fired over another with his left foot to double their advantage.
Conor Laverty pointed for Down before Niall Kelly scored a highly contentious point which appeared to float about a yard wide.
Kelly grabbed the next two scores and there was no doubt about either of them and they led by four thanks to the Athy man.
Padraig O'Neill was next on the scoresheet for Kildare. Smith and McNally made it six points in a row by the 68th minute and Kildare had shrugged off the Down challenge.
Kildare didn't need an insurance score but they got it as Tommy Moolick scored a screamer of a goal