Kildare's Paul Dolan holds off the chasing Down players during the Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Hurling Championship knockout stages played at Abbotstown PICTURE: Sean Brilly
Kildare won’t have long to wait to face sterner opposition as they’ve reached the second round of the Leinster MHC, recording a fifty-one-point victory over Down in Abbottstown on Saturday, May 18.
Cathal Fenton’s charges were in full attack-mode when they faced a Down side, who only travelled south with fifteen players for this first round knockout game.
Exiting their tier two group with two wins and a Laois loss, this Kildare team is full of possibility.
Where Down struggled in all areas of the pitch, Kildare were able to afford plenty of game time to their panel members, which only caused greater problems for Down.
Leading 1-10 to 0-1 by the time that Down opened account in the 14th minute, Fenton was pleased with the side’s display, saying “we targeted the first ten minutes, when the match was there to be won.”
Kildare led 3-19 to 0-3 at half-time thanks to David Qualter and Eoin McConnon goals.
Jack Higgins and Cathal McCabe set the early pace with Colmán O’Donovan, Ferran O’Sullivan and Darragh Melville building Kildare’s lead.
Previously scoring two Ryan O’Neill frees by the 24 th minute, half-back Imran Hussain scored Down’s first point from play in the 28th minute.
Completely carving open a Down team without any substitutes, David Qualter (2) and substitute Eoin McConnon had three goals in the Down net before half-time.
Melville roared into the second-half, scoring 1-2 in the opening seven minutes. Aidan Mooney scored the first of three second-half points as Matthew Whelan scored Kildare’s fifth goal in the 44 th minute.
When O’Neill added Down’s second point from play, Rossa Stapleton and O’Donovan scored second-half goals by the 52 nd minute. By this stage Kildare led 7-28 to 0-4.
As Higgins scored his eighth-point in the second-half, substitute Daragh McMahon finished Down off by scoring his fifth point in a serious display from the bench.
Scorers: Kildare, D Qualter 2-3 (2fs); D Melville 1-6 (1f); J Higgins 0-8; C O’Donovan 1-4; R Stapleton 1-2; D McMahon 0-5 (1f); E McConnon 1-1; M Whelan 1-0; A Mooney 0-3; C McCabe 0-2; F O’Sullivan 0-1.
Down: R O’Neill 0-4 (3fs); I Hussain 0-1.
KILDARE: Alo Hacket; Peter O’Donoghue, Seán Conway, Matthew Eustace; Paul Dolan, Cian Shanahan, Aidan Mooney; Ferran O’Sullivan, Conan Boran; Colmán O’Donovan, Rossa Stapleton, Jack Higgins; Daragh Melville, Cathal McCabe, David Qualter. SUBS: Eoin McConnon for McCabe (14 mins); Johnny Owens for Melville B/S (17); Keith O’Callaghan for Hacket (h/t); Owens for O’Sullivan (h/t); Daragh McMahon for Boran (h/t); Matthew Whelan for Melville (38).
DOWN: Cathal Lavery; Rossa McGrath, Darragh Kelly, Ethan Bell; Imran Hussain, Eoin Pucci, Ciaran Savage; James Duggan, Finn Collins; Ryan O’Neill, Eoin Magee, Tom McGrattan; Nathan Kelly, Jack Lee.
REFEREE: Mark Ryan (Dublin).