Kildare let three-point lead slip as David Quinn earns Sligo draw in the 77th minute

Sligo 0-14 Kildare 0-14

Kildare's Darragh Kirwan in action against Alan Reilly of Sligo at Markievicz Park earlier this afternoon. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Frank Roche

A last-second draw that must have felt like a victory for Sligo, who kept their qualification hopes alive and kicking in this Sam Maguire group opener at Markievicz Park.

Kildare are sure to be kicking themselves at their failure to emerge with a hard-earned victory, having established what appeared to be a winning position with three unanswered points beyond the hour, only to be reeled in by three scores from a never-say-die Sligo.

Substitute David Quinn emerged as the local saviour, kicking unerringly from the right flank. The clock read 77 minutes and 15 seconds – five minutes of injury time had been signalled by Joe McQuillan, but there had been a couple of further stoppages in added time.

Sligo finished with 14 men, the previously excellent Seán Carrabine blotting his copybook with two yellow cards (after 60 and 67 minutes) having earlier kicked 0-4 from play.

With midfielder Aaron Masterson, Darragh Kirwan (with his third from play) and sub Jack Robinson (pointing his own free after Carrabine’s second yellow) all scoring in a three-minute burst, it looked as if Glenn Ryan’s men had timed their run perfectly after their physically tiring hosts.

But the Division 2 outfit couldn’t press home their advantage. Niall Murphy, Sligo’s captain and so often their talisman, kept their hopes alive with two priceless points from play, the second almost four minutes into stoppage-time.

By then, Kildare had lost midfielder Kevin O’Callaghan to a black card for a cynical pull-down on Pat Spillane.

As the clock kept ticking, Kirwan then walked for a second yellow, reducing his team to 13 men for the dying seconds. There was still time, just enough, for Nathan Mullen to set up Quinn for his equaliser.

The pre-match narrative may have painted Kildare as warm favourites, if only based on their impressive showing in defeat to Dublin whereas Sligo were coming off the back of a heavy 14-point Connacht final beating by Galway.

And yet, in reality, the first half was nip-and-tuck throughout. Even if much of the football was slow-paced, bordering on pedestrian at times, Kildare struggled to break down a disciplined and dogged Sligo defence.

The hosts might even had grabbed the early initiative, Niall Murphy and Seán Carrabine combining to release Alan Reilly at pace – but his half-chance of a goal flew wide.

When Paddy Woodgate blasted a close-range point after Kevin Feely had caused some mayhem inside, the game was 25 minutes old and the sides were level (at 0-5 apiece) for the fifth time.

This was followed by further scores from Kevin Flynn (the centre-back landing his second eye-catching point from distance) and Darragh Kirwan after a costly attacking turnover by Sligo. Thus, for the first time, there was two-point daylight between the teams.

But it didn’t last and when Finian Cawley struck his second point, a wonderful outside-of-the-boot effort, Sligo were back within touching distance, trailing 0-7 to 0-6 at the break.

When Sligo resumed with three quickfire points, a Carrabine brace and another from Darragh Cummins, the hosts led by two for the first time … and the stage was set for a contest that ebbed and flowed right until the final bell.


Sligo: N Murphy 0-6 (2f), S Carrabine 0-4, F Cawley 0-2, D Cummins, D Quinn 0-1 each.

Kildare:P Woodgate 0-4 (2f, 1 ‘45’), D Kirwan 0-3, K Flynn, A Beirne 0-2 each, K Feely (1m), A Masterson, J Robinson (f) 0-1 each.


SLIGO –A Devaney; E Lyons, E McGuinness, N Mullen; L Towey, B Cox, P McNamara; C Lally, P Kilcoyne; F Cawley, A Reilly, D Cummins; S Carrabine, P O’Connor, N Murphy.

Subs: P Spillane for O’Connor (55), M Gordon for F Cawley (63), K Cawley for Cummins (66), D Quinn for Lally (66), M Walsh for Reilly (74).

KILDARE – M Donnellan; E Doyle, S Ryan, M O’Grady; D Hyland, K Flynn, J Sargent; K O’Callaghan, A Masterson; P McDermott, P Cribbin, A Beirne; P Woodgate, D Kirwan, K Feely.

Subs: J Robinson for Feely (45), D Malone for Cribbin (53), T Archbold for McDermott (58), R Houlihan for Sargent (71).

REF – J McQuillan (Cavan)