Gaelic Football

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Late goals see Lilywhites pile more misery on Cork

Kildare 2-10 CORK 1-9

Published 10/02/2013 | 04:00

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Cork’s Graham Canty shields the ball from Brian Flanagan during last night’s Allianz Football League Division 1 clash. Photo: Matt Browne

TWO dramatic late goals from substitutes Niall Kelly and Paddy Brophy saw Kildare gradually grind 14-man Cork down to claim another two league points in front of 3,000 people last night.

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TWO dramatic late goals from substitutes Niall Kelly and Paddy Brophy saw Kildare gradually grind 14-man Cork down to claim another two league points in front of 3,000 people last night.

Constant drizzle and slippery conditions made it extremely hard for the two teams and, understandably, there were plenty of misplaced passes and fumbles.

But there was plenty to admire too. Kildare bided their time and showed superior desire and hunger to make it back-to-back league wins. They came to life after springing the likes of Kelly from the bench and when Damien Cahalane was red-carded following a tangle with Kelly moments after his introduction, the home side wilted considerably.

It cost them badly in the end as the Leinster side mounted attacks relentlessly. Both their late goals came from just a few yards out as the Cork defence was left vulnerable and exposed. It was a fascinating end to a game that had been tight throughout. In fact for 60 minutes there was little or nothing to separate the sides.

At the start Seanie Johnston hit two splendid points, Ciaran Sheehan struck a magnificent goal for Cork and Mikey Conway and Paul Kerrigan also hit points right out of the top drawer.

As usual, Kildare went about their task with plenty of hunger and gusto. They played three across the full-back line, placed Mikey Conway just ahead as a defensive screen, and allowed the likes of Hugh McGrillen and Brian Flanagan to push on at every opportunity. McGrillen made many fine bursts on the right flank but could have been utilised more often. Instead, the visitors favoured a diagonal or pop pass inside to their marksmen, Johnston and Johnny Doyle.

Whether he was carrying a slight injury or just being shielded from Simon Zebo-like hype by his manager, Kelly started this game on the bench after kicking three fine points against Donegal. Still, the team stuck to their template and in poor conditions could be content with their 0-6 tally at the break.

Cork, after a sleepy start to the season, needed a display here and apart from five poor wides they would have been happier with their showing in the first half. Graham Canty, especially, looked energised around the middle of the park.

But with most of the traffic in gridlock further out the field, Cork's lethal forward line of Kerrigan, Colm O'Neill and Donncha O'Connor didn't get enough quality possession. They can blame the high ball that was launched in their direction, but on a couple of occasions they were hustled too easily out of possession as well.

Still, we saw a classy Sheehan goal after 19 minutes following great approach play from Fintan Goold and Kerrigan which saw the Eire Og man rifle home a rasper low to Shane Connolly's right. That left it 1-3 to 0-4 after 20 minutes.

But in a tight encounter the pendulum swung almost immediately. Cathal McNally had a goal chance on 33 minutes but saw his effort blaze left and wide. The last act of the half was Kerrigan's sublime point from the left wing, it had class written all over it. The sides retreated to the dressing-room with the home outfit leading 1-5 to 0-6 in an affair that didn't lack endeavour but was certainly short on quality at times in the drizzle.

Shortly after the restart Cahalane saw red for colliding with Kelly, who came on after the break. The game sprung into life as Cork, down to 14 men, went on the attack and saw O'Connor hit a marvellous point to leave it 1-7 to 0-7 after 43 minutes.

At the other end Kildare substitute Tomas O'Connor saw a goal chance cleared off the line as both sides threw off the shackles. Two frees from Conway and one from Cork's O'Connor left just two points in it with 15 minutes remaining. The tension rose and every tussle was contested with physicality and intensity. The crowd loved it as Cork tried to hold their opponents at bay.

But after the two late goals from subs Kelly and Brophy the home side wilted, leaving their opponents to travel the long road home, exhausted but happy.

Scorers – Kildare: M Conway 0-4 (2f), N Kelly, P Brophy 1-0 each, S Johnston, P O'Neill 0-2 each, J Doyle (1f), D Flynn 0-1 each Cork: C Sheehan 1-0, C O'Neill (3f), D O'Connor (2f) 0-3 each, P Kerrigan, A Walsh, J O'Rourke 0-1 each.

Kildare: S Connolly; O Lyons, M Foley, H McGrillen; E Bolton, M Conway, P Kelly; G White, P O'Neill; B Flanagan, C McNally, D Flynn; S Johnston, E O'Flaherty, J Doyle. Subs: N Kelly for C McNally (h-t), T O'Connor for E O'Flaherty (h-t), E Doyle for O Lyons (50), M O'Flaherty for B Flanagan (53), P Brophy for S Johnston (59).

Cork: K O'Halloran; E Cadogan, E O'Mahony, J O'Sullivan; T Clancy, M Shields, D Cahalane; G Canty, A Walsh; F Goold, J O'Rourke, C Sheehan; C O'Neill, D O'Connor, P Kerrigan. Subs: A O'Connor for T Clancy (h-t), T Clancy (Fermoy) for C Sheehan (53), P O'Neill for F Goold (60), P Kissane for A Walsh (61).

Referee: R Hickey (Clare).

Irish Independent

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