Bonus point sees Kildare edge out Mayo in thrilling finale
Christy Ring Cup: Kildare 2-14 Mayo 1-15
A late surge in four minutes of injury-time sealed victory for Kildare at James Stephen's Park, Ballina, on Saturday.
Impact sub Jack Sheridan appeared to have won it with a goal in the first of four minutes of injury-time, but Mayo's response was swift, Keith Higgins finishing to the net.
It blew the contest wide open once more (2-12 to 1-14), but it was another substitute, Chris Bonus, who picked off a vital score and Sheridan also added a point to his goal to push the gap to three with time fast running out.
Mayo made one last bold attempt to snatch a draw, but a free from 35 yards from goalkeeper Donal O'Brien was always rising.
It was cracking game, with Mayo rattling off six points without reply in the opening 10 minutes, before Kildare hit six unanswered efforts of their own - Barry Cormack, Paul Divilly and Shane Ryan picking off some good scores.
Mayo then went four ahead again, with dual star Higgins on target along with three from top scorer Kenny Feeney.
Kildare pegged back two more before the break to trail by 0-8 to 0-10, but just minutes into the second-half, Shane Ryan found the net and Mayo just couldn't get ahead again.
Scorers - Kildare: S Ryan 1-2, B Cormack 0-4 (4f), B Sheridan 1-1, P Divilly 0-3 (1f), N O'Muineachain, K Whelan, C Bonus and B Deay 0-1 each.
Mayo: K Feeney 0-9 (7f)), K Higgins 1-1, B Morley, S Boland, E Ryan, P Kiely and D O'Brien (1f) 0-1 each.
Kildare - P McKenna 8, C Forde 6, J Doran 7, P Sullivan 7, E O'Neill 8, M Moloney 7, D Bereton 6, N O'Muineachain 7, B Cormack 8, B Byrne 6, P Divilly 7, K Whelan 7, M Delaney 6, M Fitzgerald 6, S Ryan 8. Subs: B Deay 8 for M Delaney (HT), C Bonus 7 for Whelan (55 mins), J Sheridan 8 for B Cormack (64 mins).
Mayo - D O'Brien 8, B Hunt 7, C Daly 9, S Mulroy 7, M Morley 7, D Kenny 8, C Henry 6, K McDermott 7, D McGreal 7, B Morley 6, K Feeney 7, P Kielty 7, S Boland 6, K Higgins 8, E Ryan 7. Subs: C Scahill 7 for S Boland (inj, 20 mins), S Kenny 6 for Scahill (55 mins), B Douglas 6 for McGreal (60 mins).
Ref - R McGann (Clare).