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More Kildare indiscipline helps Louth progress

McGeeney fury as lilywhites lose it

Brian Flanagan became Kildare's fourth player sent off in a week. Kieran McGeeney also replaced Emmet Bolton early in the second half, having switched the Eadestown man in the first after some persistent fouling had earned him a yellow card.

The manager made no bones about his dissatisfaction with some of his players' tackling.

"I thought our discipline was poor in the tackle" he said. "Losing two players with Emmet and Flano disrupts things. There were a lot of scoreable free kicks (conceded). I do think they're harsh but sure they can't be harsh every week.

"If they happen you have to find a way of stopping it. I'd be disappointed because they work hard on that.

"In fairness to Brian he was playing well until a wee bit of indiscipline cost us but he knows that himself. If you're on a yellow, you can't afford to be careless in the tackle. It wasn't a bad tackle but, still, it was a yellow card tackle. He should know that."

McGeeney confirmed that Morgan O'Flaherty had applied for a personal hearing to contest the proposed eight-week suspension recommended for the Carbury defender as a result of his dismissal against Laois yesterday week.

O'Flaherty will not be looking for a fall guy as he argues his case of mistaken identity. There should be no need to, McGeeney argues, with the Mullaghbawn man making the point that it wouldn't be too difficult to find a culprit anyway.

"Everybody knows Morgan didn't do anything so I hope he'll be back next week and common sense will prevail.

"Everybody's out there looking to hang somebody else. I'm not big into that. If the referee made a mistake, he made a mistake. If he wants to go after, or (Leinster Council) want to go after somebody else, that's their business.

"It wouldn't be hard. You just need to take a penknife, put the Kildare team and Laois team next to each other, take Shorty (Shane McCormack) out of it and just pick a number.

"I wouldn't condone anything that happened, we were all involved in it but I would feel for Morgan because he didn't do anything.

"In fairness to Johnny (Doyle, who was also sent off), all he did was take a hiding but he's captain of the team and said he'd take it on the chin.

"In terms of someone else stepping up to the plate, that's not up to us. All we can say is 'this man is innocent'."

Peter Fitzpatrick wanted to use the O'Byrne Cup to unearth some new players ahead of the league, but Louth are now just one step away from being two-in-a-row champions of Leinster's pre- season competition.

And while the likes of Declan Byrne -- the game's unlikely hero with a goal and a point, despite having spent the first 46 minutes at right corner-back -- and Andy McDonnell made significant contributions, it was Ronan Carroll, Paddy Keenan, Aaron Hoey and Ray Finnegan who really stood out.

Finnegan scored an outstanding point as the winners raced into a three-point lead early on, but with Anthony Rainbow and Dermot Earley showing all their class, Kildare reeled off four successive points to go ahead.

At times, the hosts looked capable of turning this into a one-sided affair, and when Earley and Ronan Walsh notched up their second points late in the first half, they moved three clear.

McDonnell fired over two points in the 35th minute, however, the second after a delightful crossfield pass from Keenan, to leave it 0-8 to 0-7 at the break.

Again Kildare went three ahead with scores from Pádraig O'Neill and Rob Kelly, but Carroll and JP Rooney responded as Louth refused to buckle.

Flanagan's dismissal came in the 47th minute, the second yellow card coming for an injudicious tackle on Aaron Hoey.

Byrne became the spare man and already had a point on the board when his 67th-minute kick from 35 metres out on the left deceived Kildare goalie Shane McCormack and ended up in the net via the upright.

Suddenly Louth were two points in front and, much to McGeeney's consternation, Kildare accepted defeat as their lot.

It was all Louth in the final minutes and Colin Judge's fourth pointed free, followed by points from Carroll and Shane Lennon, confirmed their place in the final against the students of DCU.