Friday 15 December 2017

Walsh blames past failings for Sligo drop

Kildare 0-16
Sligo 1-12

Daragh O Conchuir

Sligo almost pulled off a great escape in Newbridge, but in the end manager Kevin Walsh was left to rue previous poor results after man-of-the-match, Kildare's Eamonn Callaghan, augmented a wonderful all-round display with his fourth point of the day in injury-time to deny the visitors the draw that would have kept them in Division 2.

Two excellent points from second-half substitute David Maye looked to have rescued Sligo but it wasn't to be as Callaghan struck at the death to deny them.

"You can go back to other matches," said Walsh (right) afterwards when considering lost opportunities. "In Donegal we left the points behind big time. Today, depending on other results, it could keep you up or keep you down and that's the way it happens.

"We had oceans of possession in other games and didn't put it away but there's nothing we can do about it now."

They certainly threw everything at Kildare but the hosts should have been out of sight, helping to keep Sligo in the game with a gift of an eighth-minute goal for the impressive Stephen Coen and then spurning a host of scoring chances, especially in the third quarter.

Three points from young star Fionn Dowling, as well as some good scores by Johnny Doyle, Ronan Sweeney and Hugh Lynch, helped Kildare to establish a five-point advantage, but Sligo finally started to get their hands on some possession around the middle third -- as the excellent Daryl Flynn began to tire -- and kicked five consecutive points to restore parity.

Eamonn O'Hara produced the leveller in the 66th minute but he should have goaled after making a brilliant catch. The veteran just got under his shot too much and the ball cleared the crossbar by inches.

Padraig O'Neill and the outstanding Gary White fired over two eye-catching points for Kildare, but Maye's contribution brought the teams level again before Callaghan had the final say.

Man of the Match: Eamonn Callaghan (Kildare)

Scorers -- Kildare: E Callaghan 0-4, F Dowling, E O'Flaherty (2f) 0-3 each, R Sweeney, H Lynch, B Flanagan, G White, P O'Neill, J Doyle 0-1 each Sligo: S Coen 1-2, M Breheny (1f), A Marren (2f), D Maye (1f) 0-2 each, S Gilmartin, A Costello, E O'Hara, F Quinn 0-1 each

Kildare -- S Connolly 7; A Mac Lochlainn 7, M Foley 6, H McGrillen 5; G White 8, M O'Flaherty 7, E Bolton 7; H Lynch 7, D Flynn 8; E Callaghan 9, R Sweeney 6, B Flanagan 6; E O'Flaherty 6, F Dowling 7, J Doyle 7. Subs: O Lyons 7 for McGrillen (28), P O'Neill 6 for Sweeney (49), J Kavanagh 6 for Dowling (55), C Brophy 6 for Flynn (64), K Cribbin 6 for Flanagan (64).

Sligo -- P Greene 7; C Harrisson 7, N Ewing 6, R Donovan 7; D Rooney 6, P McGovern 7, K Cawley 6; T Taylor 6, S Gilmartin 6; A Costello 7, M Breheny 7, S Davey 5; S Coen 8, E O'Hara 8, A Marren 6. Subs: F Quinn 7 for Davey (29), B Egan 6 for Taylor (58), D Maye7 for Marren (64), B Kennedy 6for Cawley (64).

Ref -- P O'Sullivan (Kerry).

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