Sunday 18 March 2018

Coffey in mood for red-hot Lilywhites

Kildare 0-16
Offaly 0-8

A stunning first-half performance laid the foundations for Kildare as they secured their place in the semi-finals with a comfortable win in Tullamore on Saturday.

Kildare really turned on the style when playing against the wind in the first half and their physique, power and pace left Offaly chasing shadows.

The visitors ran Offaly ragged and were full value for their 0-10 to 0-4 interval lead. At that point it seemed they would win by what they wished.

Offaly just couldn't cope with the Lilywhites in that first half, with Barry Coffey and the outstanding Niall Kelly inflicting most pain up front, and the Kildare midfield and defence easily repelling the home side's best efforts.

The Faithful County did rally in the second half and cut the deficit back to four points, 0-11 to 0-7, after 10 minutes. Kildare 'keeper Shane McNamara made an excellent 45th-minute save from Mark Hayes and that effectively ended the Offaly challenge.

Kildare were not as impressive in the second half but they were able to easily close out the deal, outscoring their hosts by 0-6 to 0-1 in the closing quarter.

Aaron McDonagh did hit the Kildare crossbar in injury-time, but at that stage Offaly were only in the hunt for consolation scores.

SCORERS -- Kildare: B Coffey 0-5 (3f), N Kelly 0-3, P Brophy, F Conway 0-2 each, D Hyland, G Farrell, D King, C Kilkenny 0-1 each Offaly: E Carroll, N Bracken 0-2 each, J O'Connor (1 '45'), A McDonagh, N Wynne (f), P Cunningham 0-1 each.

KILDARE -- S McNamara; B Egan, S O'Hagan, S Higgins; D Duke, J Murray, D Hyland; G Farrell, D Flynn; P Brophy, C Brady, B Coffey; D King, N Kelly, F Conway. Subs: G Keegan for Brady (43), S Christiansen for Farrell (52), C Kilkenny for King (53), J Sharpe for Flynn (59).

OFFALY -- K Keogh; L Colgan, C Lowry, N Bracken; J O'Connor, J Gethings, P Foy; C Cahill, C McNamee; A McDonagh, B Norris, N Wynne; D Corbett, E Carroll, P Cunningham. Subs: E McCabe for Cahill (21), R Galvin for Corbett (h-t), M Hayes for Gethings (h-t), B Grehan for Norris (43), G Mann for Grehan (53).

REF -- F Kelly (Longford).

Irish Independent

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