Kildare's David Hyland was among the scorers (file pic). Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO
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Kildare's final flurry stuns Clare

It was their first win of the 2023 Allianz National Football League.

Kildare 0-16
Clare 0-15

Páraic McMahon reports from Cusask Park, Ennis

THERE WAS a dramatic conclusion as Kildare picked up their first win of the 2023 Allianz National Football League at the expense of Clare in Division 2 on Sunday afternoon.

Leading by six points with 47 minutes on the clock, Clare appeared to be on their way to a second win in the league. This considerable advantage, coupled with the straight red card for Kildare forward Ben McCormack, left the Banner County in a very strong position.

Ultimately it was an opportunity they didn’t avail of and were outscored 0-07 0-02 following McCormack’s red card. The final four scores from David Hyland, Daniel Flynn, and two from Neil Flynn brought some much-needed relief to Kildare boss Glenn Ryan.

Drama ensued in the closing moments as a black card for Clare goalkeeper Stephen Ryan saw them reduced to 14 men for the end of the tie, as having used all their substitutes, they were forced to put Emmet McMahon between the posts.

Fresh from captaining the UL Sigerson Cup footballers to a repeat final appearance, it was McMahon opened the scoring in Ennis with three minutes played. A free from Jimmy Hyland saw Kildare get out of the blocks before an Eoin Cleary brace gave Clare limited breathing room.

Hyland, Paddy Woodgate and Jack Robinson were all on target as Kildare got back on level terms with seventeen minutes on the clock.

A black card for Clare wing-back Alan Sweeney didn’t deter the hosts and in his absence, they kicked three points without reply, two from Cleary and one from Podge Collins. Before Sweeney returned to the field, Kildare were within a point of their opponents following white flags from Kevin Feely and free taker Hyland.

Once again, Clare hit three scores in succession, Cleary, Dermot Coughlan and Gavin Cooney converting the chances. Hyland and Cleary swapped scores to leave it 0-11 0-07 in favour of the Banner County at half-time.

When Cooney extended Clare’s advantage to six points on 47 minutes, it left Colm Collins’ side in a healthy position.

McCormack’s straight red card hurt Clare more than Kildare as the hosts completely lost their shape and opted to go backwards in possession rather than exerting efforts on piling more damage to their opponents.

Throughout the game, they excelled at picking holes in the Clare defence when on the attack, and this was exploited even more as they began to dominate proceedings. This visible pressure was evident with Stephen Ryan’s save from Kevin Flynn on 59 minutes.

Kildare’s late flurry gives them an invaluable two points ahead of their fourth round tie with Derry. For Glenn Ryan’s side, their impact from the bench was telling with the Flynns Neil and Daniel kicking 0-05 between them while David Hyland and Kevin Feely were also prominent.

A trip to the capital against Dublin is next on the cards for Clare. Having done well for large parts of the game, they will be left to rue the manner in which they failed to close out the contest.

Scorers Kildare: J Hyland (0-04 4f), N Flynn (0-04 2f), D Flynn (0-02), P Woodgate (0-02 1f), J Robinson (0-01), K Feely (0-01), D Kirwan (0-01), D Hyland (0-01)

Scorers Clare: E Cleary (0-08 6f), E McMahon (0-02 1f), G Cooney (0-02), R Lanigan (0-01), P Collins (0-01), D Coughlan (0-01).


1: Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)

19: Eoin Doyle (Naas)
3: Shea Ryan (Sarsfields)
4: Ryan Houlihan (Moorefield)

5: David Hyland (Athy)
2: Mick O’Grady (C ) (Celbridge)

7: Paddy McDermott (Naas)

18: Kevin Feely (Athy)
9: Kevin O’Callaghan (Celbridge)

20: Paddy Woodgate (Raheens)
11: Kevin Flynn (Celbridge)
24: Ben McCormack (Sarsfields)

15: Jack Robinson (Clogherinkoe)
14: Darragh Kirwan (Naas)
13: Jimmy Hyland (Ballyteague)


23: Daniel Flynn (Johnstownbridge) for Robinson (42)
10: Neil Flynn (Maynooth) for Woodgate (44)
6: Darragh Malone (Allenwood) for O’Callaghan (58)
25: Shane O’Sullivan (Clara) for Hyland (66)


16: Stephen Ryan (Kilrush Shamrocks)

2: Manus Doherty (Éire Óg)
3: Cillian Brennan (Clondegad)
4: Ronan Lanigan (Éire Óg)

5: Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)
6: Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare)
7: Alan Sweeney (St Breckans)

8: Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)
9: Darragh Bohannon (Shannon Gaels)

12: Dermot Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
11: Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
10: Jamie Malone (Corofin)

13: Padraic Collins (Cratloe)
15: Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg)
14: Emmett McMahon (Kildysart)


25: Ikem Ugwueru (Éire Óg) for Sweeney (HT)
19: Aaron Griffin (Lissycasey) for Cooney (47)
23: Brendy Rouine (Ennistymon) for O’Connor (47) (inj)
17: Ciaran Downes (Kilmihil) for Coughlan (55)
24: Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg) for Doherty (70)

Referee: David Murnane (Cork)

Páraic McMahon
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