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Kildare produce an impressive performance over Cork

By Matthew Hurley in Semple Stadium

Jack O’Connor’s impressive Kildare side bossed Ronan McCarthy’s Cork to get the ball rolling in their Allianz Football League Division 2 South clash. There were 4 points between the sides in the end, but that scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story with the Rebels outscoring the Lillywhite’s by 5 points to nil in the last 10 minutes plus additional time.

The first 25 minutes looked promising for the Munster side as they led 0-5 to 0-3, but the scoreline from then until the 60th minute was controlled by Kildare (2-9 to 0-4). That was ultimately the winning of the game.

Despite star man Daniel Flynn going off with an injury early on, players such as Jimmy Hyland, Paul Cribbin and in particular Darragh Kirwan stepped up when counted. Kirwan scored 2 points overall but crucially set up the 2 killer goals, scored by Kevin Flynn and Hyland in the 49th and 59th minutes, respectively.

Neil Flynn, who came on for his injured brother, kicked all 3 free attempts, which steadied the Leinster side down as they breezed to victory. Kevin Feely, while not scoring, influenced the team massively with his link up play and high fielding around the forwards. Various people questioned O’Connor’s selection of the big man at full forward, but judging by today, the move is a master plan to build the team around the Feely.

For Cork, it’s a case of one step forward from the victory over Kerry, but now two massive steps back after defeats to first Tipperary and now today. Sean Powter played as a sweeper for the Rebels, which was strange decision considering Kildare were very inaccurate with their shooting before the first water break and were there for the taking. Sloppy errors were a constant feature to their display also, with a misplaced kick pass in an attacking position, ended with a Jimmy Hyland goal down the other end.

Substitute Brian Hartnett’s sending off capped off a frustrating afternoon for Cork, with a big performance required against Laois next week. Kildare on the other hand will be going into their game against Clare with huge confidence and a realistic aim of securing Division 1 football for 2022.

Cork: M Martin; D O’Mahony, S Meehan, K Flahive; P Walsh, S Powter, M Taylor; I Maguire (0-2), K O’Driscoll (0-2); C O’Callaghan, S White, R Deane; J O’Rourke (0-2), B Hurley (0-2,2f), C O’Mahony (0-6,5f).

Subs: B Hartnett for O’Callaghan ‘HT, D Dineen for Hurley ’39, C Sheehan (0-1) for O’Driscoll ’58, K O’Donovan for Powter ’58, B Murphy for Deane ’62, T Corkery for Maguire ’66.

Kildare: M Donnellan; M Dempsey, M O’Grady, E Doyle; K Flynn (1-0), D Hyland, R Houlihan; L Flynn (0-1), A Masterson; A Beirne, D Flynn (0-2), P Cribbin (0-2); J Hyland (1-2,1f,1m), K Feely, D Kirwan (0-2).

Subs: N Flynn (0-3,3f) for D Flynn ’29, C Kavanagh for Houlihan ’51, C Hartley for Beirne ’53, F Conway for L Flynn ’54, S O’Sullivan for J Hyland ’65, D Malone for Cribbin ’65, B McLaughlin for Kirwan ’71.

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