Friday 17 November 2017

The game at a glance

Daryl Flynn (Kildare): It was a truly remarkable performance from the big Moorefield man, who kept going throughout the 90 minutes with intensity, courage and a ball-winning contribution that never tapered.

Turning point

There were dozens of them in a game that, from the off, flew on unreadable wind currents. Right up until Kevin Cassidy's late winner, Mystic Meg couldn't have foretold the outcome of a topsy-turvy encounter.

Talking point

The 'square ball' decision against Kildare five minutes into the second half of normal time. Video evidence suggested that Tomas O'Connor may have timed his arrival perfectly as John Doyle's attempted point came bouncing down off a post. A goal would have put Kildare six clear and firmly in control of the game.

Ref watch

David Coldrick's 'laissez faire' approach may have earned him the approval of the TV pundits but, frankly, what constitutes a foul in May surely still constitutes a foul in July. Overall, it's probably fair to say it was a mixed bag from the Meath man.

What they said

Jim McGuinness (Donegal):

"I never thought we were beat, but I haven't all year. Every single game when they've been in a very difficult situation, they haven't taken the easy option. They've always dug their heels in and kept on believing. They never give up. That's why I take so much pleasure from tonight. Because you're playing a team that are doing the same thing from the point of view of seeing it out to the very end."

Kieran McGeeney (Kildare):

"It's hard for me because sometimes I wonder is it my personality that seems to have an effect on officialdom. It's difficult to comprehend. I know most of these fellas and when they get uniforms on, they seem to become supermen. What can you do?"

Match statistics

Wides: Donegal 12 (4) (5) (1) (2); Kildare 14 (6) (6) (1) (1)

Frees: Donegal 18 (5) (4) (3) (6); Kildare 17 (4) (10) (2) (1)

Yellow cards: Donegal 2 (M McHugh 54, R Kavanagh 70); Kildare 5 (D Flynn 73, A Smith 78, E Callaghan 79, J Doyle 83, B Flanagan 87)

Attendance: 39,612

What next?

Donegal march on to an All-Ireland semi-final against either Dublin or Tyrone on August 28. Kildare's championship is over for another year.

Irish Independent

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