Joe McDonagh Cup
Courtesy of GAA.ie
By Ger McNally at Manguard Plus Kildare GAA Centre, Hawkfield
A 70th minute Jordan Conway goal helped seal victory for Kerry at Manguard Plus Hawkfield as Stephen Molumphy’s team continued their fine start to the McDonagh Cup.
It was a deserved win for the Munster side as they were just a little sharper than the home side across the entire game and they often belied the dreadful weather conditions to play some skilful hurling. Shane Conway and Padraig Boyle caused endless amounts of problems for the home defence, and half time substitute Jordan Conway certainly added to that after the break.
It’s a third successive defeat for Kildare and after such an encouraging league season, they are now facing into a huge battle to preserve their McDonagh Cup status. Kildare had Paul Dolan sent off in the 50th minute.
Incessant rain made things difficult for both teams but it was Kerry who settled quicker and they led 0-4 to 0-1 after the first quarter.
Kildare improved after that and with the free taking of David Qualter catching the eye, they got back on level terms a6 0-6 apiece by the half hour mark.
That was the final time the teams were on parity, however, and Kerry went into half time with 0-9 to 0-6 lead after points from Eoin Ross, Boyle and Conway.
Two Qualter frees in the first two minutes after the restart left a point in it but once Jordan Conway scored his first points, added to by two more from Boyle, to push Kerry four clear they were always in charge.
There was still four points in it by the time of Dolan’s dismissal and it was clear by then that Kildare could need a goal to get them back into the game. The closest they came was when Brian Byrne dropped a long range free into the square and Cathal McCabe’s instinctive shot was saved by John B O’Halloran.
Instead, it was Kerry who got the goal in the last seconds of normal time when the two Conways combined. Shane sent the ball into Jordan, who skipped past Cian Shanahan before blasting his shot past Paddy McKenna as Kerry got revenge for a league defeat in Newbridge earlier in the year.
Scorers for Kerry: P Boyle 0-5 (1f), S Conway 0-5 (4fs), J Conway 1-2, D Shanahan 0-1, E Ross 0-1, C Walsh 0-1, N Mulcahy 0-1, D Goggin 0-1.
Scorers for Kildare: D Qualter 0-8 (8fs), C McCabe 0-2, R Boran 0-1, G Keegan 0-1, C Boran 0-1, P McKenna 0-1 (f).
Kerry: John B O’Halloran; Kyle O’Connor, Fionan MacKessy, Evan Murphy, Jason Diggins, Eric Leen, Michael Leane; Paudie O’Connor, Eoin Ross; Darragh Shanahan, Colin Walsh, Shane Conway, Brandon Barrett, Padraig Boyle, Gavin Dooley.
Subs: Jordan Conway for Dooley, h/t; Dan Goggin for Barrett, 54; Niall Mulcahy for Ross, 58; Mickey Boyle for Shanahan, 63; Philip Lucid for P Boyle, 70+2
Kildare: Paddy McKenna; Niall O’Muineacháin, Simon Leacy, Cian Shanahan, Paul Dolan, Rian Boran, Drew Costello; Johnny Byrne, Cathal McCabe; James Burke, Gerry Keegan, Paul Divilly, Brian Byrne, Cian Boran, David Qualter.
Subs: Declan Flaherty for Divilly, 27; Sean Christianseen for Burke, 42; Sean Whelan for C Boran, 57; Cormac Byrne for Shanahan, 70+2.
Referee: Caymon Flynn (Westmeath).