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Johnston inspires Lilywhites win over Kerry

The former Cavan star scored 1-3 as Kildare maintained their unbeaten record.

Johnston celebrates his goal.
Johnston celebrates his goal.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Kildare 2-8 Kerry 0-12

KERRY PRODUCED A much-improved performance but remain pointless in Division 1 of the Allianz NFL following this afternoon’s defeat to Kildare in Newbridge.

The Kingdom registered 16 wides as Kieran McGeeney’s Kildare maintained their 100% start to the campaign.

Kerry dominated midfield in the second half, with Johnny Buckley in exceptional form, but they couldn’t make this superiority count on the scoreboard.

Kieran Donaghy’s move into the full-forward line caused the Kildare rearguard endless problems but countless goal chances went begging and the hosts survived.

Kildare goalkeeper Shane Connolly and teammate Mikey Conway were both forced into goal-saving interventions as Kerry found themselves frustrated.

Seanie Johnston was the star turn as the former Cavan player hit 1-3 to help establish a 1-5 to 0-5 interval lead for Kildare.

Johnny Doyle scored the 14th League goal of his career to push Kildare further ahead but they were made to sweat by Kerry before the points were secured.

Johnston, settling into life as a Kildare player, started and finished the move that saw him claim his 11th minute goal.

At the other end, James O’Donoghue was keeping Kerry in touch with his free-taking but the Kingdom’s toothless attack was creating precious little else.

Kerry registered eight wides too in the first half but after coming more into the game after half-time, they were rocked on their heels by evergreen sharpshooter Doyle.

Conway picked out the veteran star and Doyle made no mistake with a powerful drive into the top corner. Kerry weren’t finished yet though and they received another boost when Brendan Kealy saved Doyle’s 56th minute penalty. The gap was down to a single point in a frenetic finish but sub Paddy Brophy made the game safe with a late point for Kildare.

Kildare scorers: Seanie Johnston 1-03, Johnny Doyle 1-02 (0-02f), Niall Kelly, Emmet Bolton, Paddy Brophy 0-01 each
Kerry scorers: James O’Donoghue (0-03f), Johnny Buckley (0-02f) 0-04 each, Jonathan Lyne 0-02, Tomás Ó Sé, Peter Crowley 0-01 each

Kildare: S Connolly; H McGrillen, M Foley, E Doyle; M Conway, P Kelly, E Bolton; D Flynn, P O’Neill; M O’Flaherty, N Kelly, B Flanagan; S Johnston, T O’Connor, J Doyle. Subs: A Smith for M O’Flaherty (46); P Brophy for Kelly (58); O Lyons for Bolton (61); C McNally for Flanagan (61); E O’Flaherty for Johnston (70+1)

Kerry: B Kealy; M Ó Sé, A O’Mahony, S Enright; T Ó Sé, E Brosnan, K Young; K Donaghy, J Buckley; J Lyne, J O’Donoghue, D Walsh; K O’Leary, M O’Donoghue, BJ Keane. Subs: D O’Sullivan for M O’Donoghue (27); P Crowley for Enright (46); B McGuire for Keane (52); F Fitzgerald for T Ó Sé (69)

Referee: E Kinsella (Laois)

As it happened: Allianz Football League action

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About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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