Down open their account thanks to brilliant Braniff
PAUL Braniff scored 1-9 as Down recorded their first league win of the season against a stubborn Kildare side in Newbridge on Saturday.
Down had the better of the first half, with Braniff the architect of most of their best work. He found the back of net in the closing minutes of the period and that strike, along with six points, helped the Mourne men to a 1-9 to 0-8 half-time lead.
Andy Comerford's Kildare team came back into the game after the break and, after two Tony Murphy points, David Harney's 42nd minute goal briefly put the home team ahead.
That lead didn't last though and Conor O'Prey went up the other end and lashed the sliotar to the back of the net, before three long frees from Simon Wilson completed Down's win.
SCORERS -- Down: P Braniff 1-9 (0-5f), C O'Prey 1-0, S Wilson 0-3 (3f), G Johnson, B Ennis 0-2 each. Kildare: D Harney 1-3, D Kennedy 0-4 (0-2f), T Murphy 0-3, B White 0-2 (2f), D Carter, N Ó Muineacháin, C Bonus 0-1 each.
DOWN -- G Clarke; F Conway, S Murray, S Ennis; S Wilson, R McGrattan, M Ennis; A Savage, C Coulter; C O'Prey, G Johnson, B Ennis; J McCusker, P Braniff, S Clarke. Subs: L Clarke for Conway, J Coyle for McCusker (both 50), D Flynn for S Clarke (61), K McGarry for Savage (64), A Higgins for O'Prey (68)
KILDARE -- D Byrne; P Curtin, P Reidy, P Keegan; N Ó Muineac-háin, R Hoban, D Moloney; B White, M Divilly; J Houlihan, D Kennedy, C Kenny; D Carter, D Harney, M Fitzgerald. Subs: T Murphy for Kenny (34) C Buggy for White (h/t) M Moloney for D Moloney (50), K Divilly for Hoban (55), C Bonus for Fitzgerald (58)
REF -- G Duffy (Antrim).