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Dublin: 13°C Wednesday 21 October 2020

Cian O'Neill feels pre-match nerves were an issue for Kildare before they played Galway

Kildare went down by two points to Galway in the Division 2 decider.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

KILDARE HAVEN’T BEATEN Galway since 1985 and that run continued yesterday as the Tribesmen lifted the Division 2 league title.

The sides were level at 0-6 apiece after an error-ridden first-half, but four points on the bounce left the Lilywhites three in front heading down the stretch.

Galway saved their best till last and a couple of late scores from substitutes Michael Daly and Damien Comer saw them over the line in a power-packed finish.

Kildare boss Cian O’Neill felt nerves affected his young side, and he particularly noticed it before the game.

“I felt both teams were (nervous) to be honest,” O’Neill said. “Particularly when we came back out onto the pitch for the pre-match warm-up, I just felt there was a little bit of nerves there.

“It was a nervy first-half to be fair, but in the second-half we threw the shackles off a small bit.

“It’s just a pity we didn’t perform as well as we can. The key thing will be how they learn from this. Galway are a serious outfit, really well organised, and it’s important they’re congratulated.”

Chris Healy and Thomas Flynn Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Kildare failed to find the net for a third successive game, but O’Neill pointed out injuries to key forwards have contributed to that unwanted statistic.

“In the last few matches we’ve lost some of our attacking threat through Daniel (Flynn)’s injury, Neil (Flynn)’s injury and Ben (McCormack) came off today. They’ve been three big performers for us in the league in fairness to them.

“Again, this is a young team, a very young team, and they’ve exceeded all expectations in terms of promotion, finishing in the top two. This is part of the learning experience. Not just the fact we lost the match.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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