Sunday 19 November 2017

Four-goal Fogarty puts himself in driving seat for Lilies league start

Kildare 5-17 UCD 2-11

Kildare's Padraig Fogarty, centre, shoots to score his side's fourth goal
Kildare's Padraig Fogarty, centre, shoots to score his side's fourth goal

Daragh Ó Conchúir

This was Kildare's strongest line-up since the commencement of their O'Byrne Cup campaign and it was Padraig Fogarty who advanced his claims of a starting berth at the beginning of the Allianz League with a four-goal blitz to dispense with UCD in a high-scoring affair.

Fogarty showed a glimpse of his potential with a match-winning cameo as a substitute in the 2011 Division 2 league final, but has failed to cement a starting berth in the meantime.

He has attacked the pre-season tournament with vigour, though, and manager Jason Ryan was full of praise for the St Laurence's man after a place in the O'Byrne Cup final had been secured.

"It's good for his confidence" said Ryan. "He's a talented young man. He's worked extremely hard with Barry Solan and Alan Kenny and the rest of our strength and conditioning coaches to drop a little bit of excess baggage. He is moving really, really well and he is a really good kicker.

"He has a lot of work to do as well, but all of them need to do it. Everybody will be grounded, and that is going to be important for the next few weeks."

Ryan was pleased that his side maintained their winning, high-scoring run, but was conscious of the fact that stiffer tests lie just around the corner next month.

"Of course it was great (to win), but I was disappointed with some scores we conceded," declared the Kildare boss. "There is a lot of work still to do. This week ahead is our last week of heavy training, so it is pleasing, at this stage of the year, that they look fresh and there is a bit of a spring in their step."

"It was good to see a lot of the scores being mixed around, it wasn't just one player. I know the goals were dominated by Mr Fogarty, but it was good to see the other players chipping in with points."

The opening period had been an extraordinary affair with the sides racking up five goals between them in a feast of attacking football.

Westmeath's John Heslin was the first to raise the green flag after Kildare had taken an early three-point advantage. Heslin's goal and a Paul Mannion point edged UCD into the lead, but that stung Kildare into action and they quickly exerted their superiority.

Cathal McNally punched to the net from close range following clever work by Paddy Brophy and a brace of points from Darroch Mulhall, allied to scores from Sean Hurley and Fogarty handed the home side a six-point lead by the end of the opening quarter.

UCD came storming back and another goal, this time a wonderful effort from Ryan Basquel, helped them to within a point 10 minutes before the break.

ADVANTAGE

Kildare hit back and two more Fogarty goals gave them a four-point advantage at the interval.

Kildare reeled off the first three points after the resumption to stretch the margin to seven once more and although Heslin replied for the students, Mulhall quickly responded with another point.

Mark Hughes and Conor Downey pointed to reduce the deficit, but Kildare controlled the final quarter with Fogarty notching his hat-trick in the 56th minute before completing the scoring with his fourth and Kildare's fifth goal in injury time.

SCORERS -- Kildare: P Fogarty 4-3, D Mulhall (3fs), E O'Flaherty (2fs) 0-4 each, C McNally 1-0, P Brophy 0-2, S Hurley, G White, P Cribbin, J Gately 0-1 each. UCD: J Heslin 1-5 (0-2fs), R Basquel 1-0, P Mannion (f), J McCaffrey, L Connerton, B Fenton, M Hughes, C Downey 0-1 each.

KILDARE -- S Connolly; M O'Grady, M Foley, H McGrillen; D Hyland, E Bolton, P Cribbin; T Moolick, G White; C McNally, E O'Flaherty, S Hurley; P Brophy, D Mulhall, P Fogarty. Subs: J Gately for McNally (56); K Murnaghan for Bolton (59); R Dunne for Mulhall (64); C Tierney for Hurley (66); D Flynn for White (69); W Groome for Brophy (70).

UCD -- E Keane; P Reilly, R Tierney, A English; C Lenehan, P O'Harnan, A Ó Murchú; M O'Hanlon, B Fenton; J McCaffrey, J Heslin, L Connerton; P Mannion, R Basquel, M Hughes. Subs: C Downey for O'Hanlon (h-t), S McEntee for Connerton (h-t), R Bergin for Basquel (44), S Flanagan for Reilly (59), S Cadden for Fenton (59).

Ref -- A Nolan (Wicklow)

Irish Independent

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