Ryan giving every player his chance after Kildare reign begins in style
KILDARE 4-24 ATHLONE IT 0-12
THE Jason Ryan chapter of Kildare's history got under way officially at St Conleth's Park without any threat to his stress levels.
And with another Lilywhite selection that included the likes of Ollie Lyons having played (and lost) to Tipperary in the morning, he was satisfied with the day's work.
"We've a lot of players we're trying to get a look at," said Ryan. "Whether you win by a lot, it's just guys getting balls in their hands. You can play as many friendlies and as many games amongst yourselves as you want but playing a competitive game at whatever stage of a season is great."
Darroch Mulhall impressed in deep creative positions but also weighed in with five first-half points and finished with seven. Eoghan O'Flaherty also finished with 2-5, 1-3 of which came in that opening period.
The goal came at the end of a four-man move that involved a neat chip-lift by Mulhall. The Athy man also showed good appreciation of what was going on around him to wait for fellow debutant Adam Tyrrell to race outside him and time the pass perfectly for goal number two.
O'Flaherty bagged his second major after 23 seconds of the second half and Padraig Fogarty slid to the net from a penalty three minutes later, after being brought down by Jack Donoghue, who earned the distinction of being this game's only black-card victim.
Conor Tiernan's pace from half-back was notable throughout, with the Sarsfields man notching up three points in the first half.
Cathal Shine was the chief scoring threat for Athlone IT, who were a greater threat with the wind in the second half (it was 2-14 to 0-3 at the break) but this was a cakewalk.
SCORERS -- Kildare: E O'Flaherty 2-5 (1f), D Mulhall 0-7 (2fs), C McNally 0-4, P Fogarty (1-0 pen), A Tyrrell 1-1 each, C Tiernan 0-3, T Moolick, F Conway, S Hurley 0-1 each. Athlone IT: C Shine 0-6 (4fs), C Fitzgerald, J Dolan 0-2 each, A Caul, P MacGahern 0-1 each.
KILDARE -- S Connolly; M O'Grady, M Foley, J Kinahan; C Tiernan, F Conway, P Cribbin; G White, T Moolick; A Tyrrell, E O'Flaherty, C McNally; D Mulhall, R Kelly, P Fogarty. Subs: K Murnaghan for Cribbin (49), H McGrillen for Foley (53), M Conway for Tyrrell (53), S Hurley for Moolick (56), E Bolton for Tiernan (56), F Dowling for Kelly (61).
ATHLONE IT -- G Connaughton; J Donoghue, J Cassidy, D O'Reilly; L Murphy, C O'Brien, T Mooney; S Quinn, C Shine; K Martin, A Caul, D Farley; C Fitzgerald, J Dolan, A Coffey. Subs: E Kenny for O'Reilly (25), C Duggan for Martin (30), D Judge for Donoghue (39, BC), P MacGahern for Quinn (57), G Tully for Mooney (59).
REF -- D Fahy (Longford)