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Final flourish sees Kildare comfortably past Down in All-Ireland SFC qualifier

Pairc Esler was the venue for the Round 2B qualifier.

Kildare goalscorer Tommy Moolick attempts a block on Benny Coulter.
Kildare goalscorer Tommy Moolick attempts a block on Benny Coulter.
Image: Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO

Kildare 1-18

Down 0-11

A strong final quarter helped Kildare beat Down to book their place in Round 3B of the All-Ireland football qualifiers.

The Lilywhites led by 0-8 to 0-3 at half-time but Down reeled off five points in a row in eight minutes to draw level.

Kildare hit the last 1-6 without reply, Tommy Moolick’s goal from 25m out putting the gloss on a win which Jason Ryan badly needed after the Leinster semi-final exit to Meath.

There was a moment of controversy when Padraig Fogarty’s effort, which looked clearly wide, was signalled as a point when the game was in the melting pot.

It put the Lilywhites 0-13 to 0-11 ahead, and they kicked on strongly with Padraig O’Neill, Cathal McNally, Niall Kelly and Alan Smith tagging on excellent scores.

Kildare kicked the opening two scores through Gary White and Cathal McNally inside four minutes.

Down levelled it up with two Donal O’Hare frees, but Kildare were the team in the ascendancy and scored an unanswered five points up to the half hour mark.

Eamonn Callaghan received a black card for a high challenge on Mark Poland on 25 minutes. He was replaced by Alan Smith, who made an immediate impact with Kildare’s seventh point after 30 minutes.

Down could not break down Kildare’s rearguard and kicked a lot of possession away.

Benny Coulter got their first and only point from play of the first half from close range in the 35th minute. It was their first score in 26 minutes.

Eoghan O’Flaherty kicked the last point of the half to give the Lilywhites a commanding 0-8 to 0-3 lead at the break.

Benny Coulter switched to full-forward at the start of the second half and kicked 0-3 in the opening eight minutes.

Himself and veteran midfielder Dan Gordon dragged Down back into the contest but the Mournemen faded badly in the last quarter as Kildare kicked for home.

Scorers for Kildare – P Fogarty 0-4 (1f, 1 ’45′), T Moolick 1-0, A Smith, P O’Neill 0-3 each, C McNally, N Kelly 0-2 each, E Callaghan, E O’Flaherty, G White 0-1 each.
Scorers for Down – D O’Hare 0-3 (3f), B Coulter 0-4, D O’Hagan 0-1, D Rooney 0-1, C Maginn 0-1, C Laverty 0-1.

KILDARE:
1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)

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2. Ciaran Fitzpatrick (Kilcock)
3. Hugh McGrillen (Celbridge)
4. Ollie Lyons (Celbridge)

5. Emmet Bolton (Eadestown)
6. Fergal Conway (Celbridge)
7. Keith Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)

8. Tommy Moolick (Leixlip)
9. Gary White (Sarsfields)

10. Cathal McNally (Johnstownbridge)
11. Niall Kelly (Athy)
12. Padraig O’Neill (St Laurences)

13. Eamonn Callaghan (Nass)
14. Padraig Fogarty (St Laurences)
20. Eoghan O’Flaherty (Carbury)

Subs: Alan Smith (Sarsfields) for Callaghan (25), Michael O’Grady (Celbridge) for McGrillen (46), Hugh Lynch (Confey) for White (BC, 50), Tomas O’Connor (Clane) for O’Flaherty (54), Eoin Doyle (Nass) for Bolton (58), Mickey Conway for McNally (70).

DOWN:
1. Michael Cunningham (Castlewellan)

2. Daniel McCartan (Burren)
6. Conor Garvey (Mayobridge)
4. Darren O’Hagan (Clonduff)

5. Ciaran McCartan (Warrenpoint)
21. Declan Rooney (Burren)
7. Kevin McKernan (Burren)

8. Dan Gordon (Loughinisland)
9. Peter Turley (Downpatrick)

10. Brendan Coulter (Mayobridge)
11. Conor Maginn (Bryansford)
12. Mark Poland (Longstone)

13. Donal O’Hare (Burren)
14. Niall Madine (Saval)
15. Conor Laverty (Kilcoo)

Subs: Connor Toner (Burren) for P Turley (34), Ryan Johnston (Kilcoo) for Madine (HT), Brendan McArdle (Annaclone) for D McCartan (48), Damian Turley (Downpatrick) for Johnston (64).

REFEREE: David Coldrick (Meath).

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About the author:

Orla Bannon

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