Saturday 16 November 2019

Kildare take another drop as Tribesmen click in Tuam

Galway3-12 Kildare1-12

Kildare's Gary White in action against Galway's Shane Walsh during their Allianz NFL clash
Kildare's Gary White in action against Galway's Shane Walsh during their Allianz NFL clash
Galway's Paul Conroy and Fiontan O Curraoin challenge for a high ball with Kildare's Emmet Bolton, Paul Cribben and Gary White
Kildare's Peter Kelly in action against Sean Denvir of Galway

John Fallon

Kildare's slide reached a new low at Tuam Stadium yesterday when they dropped to Division 3 a year after losing their top flight status.

The damage was done long before yesterday and Jason Ryan now faces a battle over the next nine weeks to get them in shape to meet Laois or Carlow in the Leinster championship.

Losing any game is disappointing and disheartening but to get relegated is very hard to take," he said.

"We haven't had the level of consistency required to retain our position in Division 2. But I suppose that's gone now and we have to regroup for the championship. There's nothing we can do about our league status right now," added Ryan.

They needed to win yesterday to have any chance of survival but Galway were not safe either and the Tribesmen got on top in the opening half and were well on their way to survival when they led 1-10 to 0-7 at the break despite playing against the wind.

They would have been out of sight by then were it not for good saves from Mark Donnellan, who denied Sean Denvir and Shane Walsh from point-blank range.

But the pressure eventually yielded a goal, with Gary Sice and the impressive Peadar Óg Ó Gríofa combining to send Walsh through again and he made no mistake.

Four of Kildare's opening half total came from midfielders Gary White and Paul Cribbin, but they started the second half promisingly with Eoghan O'Flaherty, Alan Smith and Daniel Flynn finding the target.

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But Galway, who struggled in the second-half of all three games they lost, ended the comeback when Fiontán Ó Curraoin pounced to score from close range.

At the other end Manus Breathnach denied Cathal McNally and the Tribesmen countered for Walsh to show good composure and wrap up the game with another fine finish.

There was still time for Ó Curraoin to pick up a second yellow for a foot-block, but Mikey Conway sent the resultant penalty off the butt of the right post. By the time Daniel Flynn got a late Kildare goal, they were contemplating Division 3 football and Galway manager Kevin Walsh was working out what he needs to do for his first championship.

"What is most important for us is that we get a system in play that we can try and get the Galway football type of style back and also try and refine that we have a collective going forward.

"We tended to go back a little bit too much with the ball and playing a little bit of safety but that is something that we have to learn going forward. All of the best teams in the country do that," said Walsh.

Scorers - Galway: S Walsh 2-1; F O Curraoin 1-1; P Ó Gríofa 0-4 (0-3f); P Conroy 0-3 (0-2f); M Breathnach ('45), P Sweeney & G Sice 0-1 each. Kildare: D Flynn 1-1; M Conway (0-2f), G White, P Cribbin & A Smith 0-2 each; E O'Flaherty 0-1 (f), E Callaghan & P Fogarty 0-1 each.

Galway - M Breathnach 8; J Duane 6, F Hanley 7, C Sweeney 8; G O'Donnell 6, G Bradshaw 6, P Varley 6; F Ó Curraoin 8, P Conroy 7; G Sice 7, S Walsh 9, S Denvir 6; P Ó Gríofa 7, P Sweeney 7, M Lundy 7. Subs: L Silke 6 for Bradshaw (40), D Comer 6 for P Sweeney (46), A Varley 6 for Comer (54), C Healy 5 for O'Griofa (70), E Hoare 5 for Denvir (70).

Kildare - M Donnellan 8; O Lyons 6, C Fitzpatrick 5, M O'Grady 6; P Kelly 6, F Conway 5, E Bolton 6; G White 7, P Cribbin 7; K Cribbin 6, E O'Flaherty 7, F Dowling 5; A Smith 7, P Fogarty 5, E Callaghan 6. Subs: D Hyland 6 for Fitzpatrick (35), D Flynn 7 for Fogarty (35), T Moolick 6 for White (50), C McNally 6 for Callaghan (55), M Conway 7 for O'Flaherty (60), G Farrell 5 for K Cribbin (68).

Ref - Sean Hurson (Tyrone)

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