06 Dec 2021

Kildare face another tough assignment this Sunday

Early throw-in against Cork in Pairc Uí Chaoimh

Kildare name team to take on Dublin

Mark Donnellan

And so after picking up a point from The Orchard that is Armagh on Sunday last, Kildare head south on Sunday for an early throw-in against The Rebels in Pairc Uí Chaoimh on a double bill with Cork hurlers.

The Lilies line-out at 1 pm in what is another vital, important and crucial game in Division 2 of the Allianz Football League.

Kildare, after a somewhat dodgy start against Kieran McGeeney's Armagh at St Conleth's Park last Sunday, eventually settled and while they looked in real trouble after conceding a goal in the 50th minute and a quick pointed free left the home side trailing by five.

In fairness Kildare buckled down, went about their job, hitting five points on the trot leveling the game in time added on.

Armagh, hit back to regain the lead but Kildare, with Jimmy Hyland showing nerves of steel (again) fired over the equaliser and a share of the points.

McGeeney said after the game it felt like a loss for his team “as we should have been six or seven points clear early in the first half” while Kildare boss, Cian O'Neill, said any time you get the final score of the game to level is a good day.

It was, without a doubt a very encouraging performance from the home side but that said they cannot allow Cork the room they allowed Armagh, particularly in the opening 15 to 20 minutes.

Armagh were very unfortunate not to find the net when Connaire Mackin came forward only to see his blistering effort crash off the cross bar. The visitors did have the ball in the net earlier but the referee (rightly) ruled it out for over-carrying.

Kildare lost Kevin Feely as early as the eighth minute after receiving a nasty gash over his eye and while it was felt he might re-appear later in the game that did not materialise but hopefully he will be fit to start on Sunday.

Kildare did fire over some excellent points, particularly from Jimmy Hyland, Fionn Dowling, Ben McCormack, Fergal Conway and Aaron Masterson. Conor Hartley did very well with a point in each half; Ben McCormack caused the Armagh defence a lot of problems in the opening half while Jimmy Hyland showed he has what it takes at this level of football, although he will no doubt come in for some close attention, as will Ben McCormack, as the season unfolds.

Last week Cork eked out a draw against Fermanagh, in Fermanagh, the home side needing a late free (brought forward for dissent) in time added on in a low scoring game, 1-5 to 0-8, but playing in Pairc Uí Chaoimh will be a different story on Sunday.

Cork have been going through a rough patch in recent times and while they may not be the force they once were, nevertheless they have a fair few new additions and will be confident of getting a result on their home patch.

Paul Cribbin is expected to miss this game but should be back for the following Saturday evening's clash with Fermanagh. Kevin Flynn will be out for a few more weeks yet but was due to return to light training earlier this week. Mick O'Grady and Neil Flynn will be available after each serving a one game suspension, picked up in the Super 8s clash with Kerry last summer.

It will be interesting see if The Lilies will make changes, one would expect Neil Flynn to be recalled while Mick O'Grady won't be too far away either. If Kevin Feely is fully fit he will start and we should know the Kildare line-out around 9 pm this evening (Friday).


Meanwhile David Herity's hurlers will be expected to chalk up their second win of their campaign, having defeated Donegal last week and while they struggled for long periods in that game in Letterkenny on Sunday last, they should have too much for Warwickshire who they take on tomorrow, Saturday, in St Conleth's Park, in a game that throws-in at 1 pm.


Meanwhile Kildare Ladies open their account in the Ladies Lidl National Football League, Division 3, a game fixed for Edwardstown with a 2 pm throw-in tomorrow, Saturday.

A fair few new names on the 2019 panel so it will be interesting to see how they fare out in this this their first outing of 2019.

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