Donall Farmer/INPHO
Backdoor Upset

Kildare stun Cork to deliver knockout blow in All-Ireland football qualifier

Semple Stadium was the venue tonight.

Kildare 1-21
Cork 1-13

Fintan O’Toole reports from Semple Stadium, Thurles

KILDARE STUNNED CORK tonight at Semple Stadium and maintained their momentum during the All-Ireland football qualifiers to book a quarter-final place next weekend.

Cork may have come close earlier this month to landing a Munster title but after losing last weekend’s replay, they were floored tonight by the Lilywhites who fully deserved their victory.

Kildare were in front by 0-11 to 0-5 at the break and then struck for a decisive blow in the shape of Niall Kelly’s 39th minute goal when he drilled home a fine left-foot finish.

Jason Ryan Jason Ryan celebrates Kildare's victory. Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Cork struggled throughout and were left reeling by two first-half setbacks as they lost James Loughrey to a black card and Alan O’Connor to a serious knee injury.

And the Rebels finished the game with 14 men after Kevin O’Driscoll was shown a red card for kicking out at Eoin Doyle in the 54th minute.

Kildare also had a man sent-off when Emmet Bolton was shown a black card three minutes from the end after being shown a yellow previously.

Brian Cuthbert A dejected Cork manager Brian Cuthbert Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Cork grabbed a goal in the 57th minute when Colm O’Neill buried a close-range free to the net but they were second best to a powerful performance by Jason Ryan’s team.

It caps a major Kildare revival after league relegation from Division 2 and a hammering in Leinster by Dublin.

Their third successive qualifier win on the spin came in a game that they took a grip of before half-time.

By the 24th minute, Cork were in front by 0-4 to 0-3 but Kildare struck eight points before the break with Paul Kerrigan firing Cork’s solitary reply.

Barry O'Driscoll with Cathal McNally Cork's Barry O'Driscoll with Kildare's Cathal McNally Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

The quality of Kildare’s point-taking from play was excellent with Niall Kelly especially prominent while Eoghan O’Flaherty nailed his frees.

Cork began the second-half brightly with a fine Mark Collins point and then were denied a goal when Conor Dorman palmed the ball against the bar.

That was the turning point as moments later Kildare went downfield and Kelly’s assured finish pushed them 1-11 to 0-6 clear.

They nearly grabbed a second goal as well in the 45th minute but for a quality save by Ken O’Halloran to deny O’Flaherty.

Kildare kept pouring forward and went in front 1-17 to 0-8 entering the last quarter.

Cork mounted something of a fightback as they hit 1-5 in the closing stages but the gap was too large to bridge and Kildare advanced to the last eight juncture.

Donncha O'Connor Cork's Donncha O'Connor dejected after the game Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Scorers for Kildare: Niall Kelly 1-4, Eoghan O’Flaherty 0-5 (0-5f), Padraig Fogarty 0-3 (0-1f), Alan Smith, Mark Donnellan (0-2 ’45), Paul Cribbin 0-2 each, Ollie Lyons, Pádraig O’Neill, Cathal McNally 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Colm O’Neill 1-4 (1-2f), Donncha O’Connor 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 ’45), Brian O’Driscoll, Mark Collins, Paul Kerrigan, Brian Hurley 0-1 each.

Mark Sherry and Peter Kelly Kildare's players Mark Sherry and Peter Kelly celebrate after the game. Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO


1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)

4. Ollie Lyons (Celbridge)
2. Ciarán Fitzpatrick (Kilcock)
3. Mick O’Grady (Celbridge)

5. Kevin Murnaghan (Moorefield)
6. Eoin Doyle (Naas)
7. Emmet Bolton (Eadestown)

8. Tommy Moolick (Leixlip)
9. Paul Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)

15. Cathal McNally (Johnstownbridge)
10. Eoghan O’Flaherty (Carbury)
12. Padraig O’Neill (St Laurence’s)

11. Niall Kelly (Athy)
14. Alan Smith (Sarsfields)
13. Eamonn Callaghan (Naas)

26. Padraig Fogarty (St Laurence’s) for Callaghan (inj) (35)
17. Peter Kelly (Two Mile House) for O’Grady (in) (38)
24. Mark Sherry (Two Mile House) for O’Flaherty (black card) (50)
23. Mikey Conway (Nurney) for McNally (57)


1. Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown)

5. Stephen Cronin (Nemo Rangers)
3. Jamie O’Sullivan (Bishopstown)
2. Michael Shields (St. Finbarr’s)

19. Conor Dorman (Bishopstown)
4. James Loughrey (Mallow)
7. Barry O’Driscoll (Nemo Rangers)

8. Alan O’Connor (St. Colum’s)
9. Eoin Cadogan (Douglas)

10. Colm O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
11. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
12. Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)

13. Colm O’Neill (Ballyclough)
15. Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond)
14. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers)

6. Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh) for Loughrey (black card) (9)
21. Fintan Goold (Macroom) for Alan O’Connor (inj) (20)
22. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven) for Colm O’Driscoll (half-time)
17. Tomás Clancy (Fermoy) for Cronin (43)
26. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers) for Dorman (48)
24. Donal Óg Hodnett (O’Donovan Rossa) for O’Sullivan (65)

Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)

All-Ireland winning Cork hurler wins 100-mile ultra marathon in the UK

Fermanagh ease past Westmeath to book first All-Ireland quarter-final spot in 11 years

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.