Ger McNally reports from Owenbeg
GOALS IN EITHER half at Owenbeg by Daniel Flynn and Niall Kelly helped Kildare end a 12-game losing streak and record their first win in almost a year.
Cian O’Neill’s team had endured a dismal year after relegation from Division 1 and a humiliating Leinster Championship defeat but they looked a completely different side in Derry.
Ends Lynn’s close range goal after six minutes gave Derry a good start but Kildare responded with a moment of magic from Daniel Flynn three minutes later. Kevin Feely won a mark in midfield and played it forward to Keith Cribbin. Once the ball was played into Flynn, he took off on a mazy finish and finished with an outstanding shot to the back of the Derry net to put Kildare 1-3 to 1-1 ahead.
That flying start to the game set the tone for an exciting first half. Kildare suffered a blow before a ball was even thrown in when Paddy Brophy picked up an injury in the warm up that saw Keith Cribbin start in his place and they suffered a further blow after 15 minutes when captain Eoin Doyle was black carded.
Despite that, Kildare led by 1-5 to 1-1 after 11 minutes and 1-6 to 1-3 after 23 minutes.
Even with that lead, Kildare’s defence was at times caught wide open and on one such occasion in the 24th minute, the excellent Padraig Cassidy played in Lynn and he found the net for his second goal to tie the scores.
Kildare regrouped from there and with the help of Fergal Conway’s four half points, they led 1-12 to 2-7 at the break.
Derry almost took the lead soon after the restart but after Emmet Bradley’s 38th minute shot was saved by Mark Donnellan, Mick O’Grady brilliantly blocked Shane McGuigan’s rebound shot on the goal line.
That missed chance took on great significance seven minutes later when a superb pass by Kevin Feely put Niall Kelly through on goal and although he dropped the ball at the first attempt, he flicked it past the advancing Ben McKinless to make it 2-15 to 2-8.
From that moment on, Kildare never looked likely to lose but they had further injury trouble when Kevin Feely limped off with a calf injury. His replacement, Neil Flynn made his first appearance since suffered an injury after just two minutes of the first league game and he went on to score six points on his return.
A miserable day for Derry was rounded off when Mark Lynch was sent off with minutes to play and Kildare saw out the remaining time, including eight minutes of injury time, to book their place in Monday’s draw.
Kildare: M Donnellan 0-1 (1’45); P Kelly, D Hyland, M O’Grady, J Murray 0-1, E Doyle, K Flynn; K Feely 0-2fs, T Moolick 0-2; F Conway 0-4, P Cribbin 0-2, K Cribbin 0-1, D Slattery 0-1, D Flynn 1-1, N Kelly 1-0.
Subs: J Byrne 0-1 for Doyle, 15 b/c; N Flynn 0-6 (2fs) for Feely, 48; C Healy for K Cribbin, 60; M Hyland for D Hyland, 65 b/c; E O’Connor for N Kelly, 68; F Dowling for Conway, 70+2.
Derry: B McKinless; P McNeill, K Johnston, M McEvoy, L McGoldrick, C McKaigue, S L McGoldrick 0-1; C McAtamney, P Cassidy 0-1; J Doherty 0-2, E Bradley 0-3fs, P Coney, E Lynn 2-3, S McGuigan 0-1, M Lynch 0-2fs.
Subs: T O’Brien for McAtamney, h/t; B Rogers for McNeill, h/t; C McWilliams for Coney, 42; J Kielt 0-1 for McGuigan, 52; M Bateson for L Mc Goldrick, 59; N Toner for S L McGoldrick, 70+2.
Referee: David Coldrick.
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