Allianz FL D2: Kildare claim the spoils
Allianz Football League Division Two
KILDARE 1-11 TIPPERARY 2-7
By Ger McNally at St Conleth's Park
Kildarehead into the last round of Division 2 with their promotion hopes still alive, but they breathed a massive sigh of relief at the final whistle in Newbridge today after they almost let this win slip through their fingers.
Leading by 1-9 to 0-5 with ten minutes to play, Cian O’Neill’s team seemed to be cruising to a comfortable win against a lacklustre Tipperary side.
The visitors, however, turned the game on its head in the final stages. Liam Boland’s superb strike in the 61st minute after Michael Quinlivan’s initial shot had been saved gave them hope.
Kildare then shot themselves in the foot when they squandered possession from their own free kick inside their 45 and once Tipperary won back possession, Dan O’Meara shot under the body of Mark Donnellan for their second goal.
Brian Fox then equalised in the first minute of injury time and suddenly Tipperary looked like they might get something from a game in which they had been second best throughout.
Just as things seemed to be slipping away from them, up stepped substitute Adam Tyrrell to kick a superb point and then Neil Flynn doubled their advantage with a well struck 45 into the wind.
There was time for Boland to pull back a point for Tipperary in the last attack of the game but that was all they could muster.
In truth, it had been a low quality game through, but a beautifully struck goal from Fergal Conway in the 34th minute helped Kildare into a 1-7 to 0-2 lead at half time. Chris Healy pushed that lead out to nine in the second half and from there, Kildare should have won comfortably.
Flynn scored in the 47th minute to make the score 1-9 to 0-3 but that was their last score until injury time.
Their failure to kill off Tipperary left them vulnerable and the Premier County almost made them pay dearly, but the win, coupled with results elsewhere, means that Kildare travel to Donegal next weekend knowing that a win could yet see them promoted.
Scorers for Kildare: Neil Flynn 0-5 (2fs , 45), Fergal Conway 1-0, Kevin Feely 0-2, Jimmy Hyland 0-1, Tommy Moolick 0-1, Chris Healy 0-1, Adam Tyrrell 0-1.
Scorers for Tipperary: Liam Boland 1-1, Dan O'Meara 1-0, Conor Sweeney 0-3 (3fs), Liam McGrath 0-1 (f), Liam Casey 0-1, Brian Fox 0-1.
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; David Hyland, Mick O'Grady, Mark Hyland; Cian O'Donoghue, Eoin Doyle, Peter Kelly; Kevin Feely, Tommy Moolick; Fergal Conway, Paddy brophy, Keith Cribbin; Neil Flynn, Chris Healy, Jimmy Hyland.
Subs: Adam Tyrrell for Cribbin (47), Kevin Flynn for Healy (56), Fionn Dowling for Brophy (56), James Murray for O'Donoghue (63), Aaron Masterson for Conwlay (68).
TIPPERARY: Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Emmett Molone; Colm O'Shaughnessy, Daire Brennan, Jimmy Feehan; Steven O'Brien, Liam Casey; Michael Quinlilvan, Liam McGrath, Brian Fox; Philip Austin, Conor Sweeney cpt., Jack Kennedy.
Subs: Paul Maher for Austin (50), Liam Boland for Casey (58), Paudie Feehan for J Feehan (60), Dan O'Meara for Moloney (64).
REFEREE: Noel Mooney (Cavan).