All-Ireland SFC: Kildare storm to victory over Antrim
All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round Two
KILDARE 1-25 ANTRIM 0-14
From David Mohan at Corrigan Park
An impressive performance saw Kildare storm past Antrim at a sun-kissed Corrigan Park this afternoon to advance to the third round of this year's All-Ireland Football Championship Qualifiers.
The Lilywhites had 14 points to spare over the hosts and they were full value for this win as they dominated throughout the game and effectively had it won by half-time.
Their corner forwards, Neil Flynn and Adam Tyrrell, contributed an impressive 1-15 between them, but their victory was built upon a dominant display around the middle of the field and their high-pressing of Antrim kick-out that led to turnovers and, ultimately, scores.
The hosts looked a little nervy at the beginning of the game and an unforced error led to a free that Flynn kicked over in the second minute to give the visitors the lead they would hold throughout the game.
Tyrrell landed a pair of scores before Antrim got off the mark when Stephen Beatty got his fist to Kevin Quinn's dropping shot before Patrick McBride put on the burners to kick the first of his six points on the day.
After an exchange of points, Kildare fully clicked into gear and the scores began to flow as Mick O'Grady and Kevin Feely chipped in with points alongside those from Flynn and Tyrrell as the the Leinster side moved 0-11 to 0-3 ahead on 30 minutes.
Antrim were struggling to get any forward momentum, but they did enjoy a brief spell as Ryan Murray kicked frees either side of a McBride point, but Kildare were to finish the half better as Jimmy Hyland - a black card replacement for Chris Healy on 13 minutes - and Flynn raised flags to give Ciaran O'Neill's men a commanding 0-13 to 0-6 lead at the break.
The hosts needed a good start to the second half to give themselves any chance and when Matthew Fitzpatrick pointed within the first minute of the restart, the signs were promising.
Hyland and Conor Murray then traded excellent points, but things were to swiftly unravel for Antrim as Kildare crushed any hopes of a revival.
Flynn blazed over when through and a goal seemed on, but from the kick-out, he intercepted, exchanged passes and found an exquisite finish to to the top right corner of Padraig Nugent's net to make it 1-15 to 0-8.
While McBride replied for Antrim, Kildare were to kick the next six scores to lead by 15 with 20 to play and the game decided.
Given the baking conditions and the size of the gap, there was no surprise things became a little pedestrian in the final quarter with Kildare happy to keep the ball away from Antrim's tiring legs.
While McBride and Fitzpatrick did add five points between them on their home patch, Kildare kept the board ticking over with Fergal Conway plus substitutes Jason Gibbons and Tommy Moorlock getting on the scoresheet to cap a successful trip to Belfast for the Leinster side and safe passage into Monday's draw for Round Three.
Scorers for Kildare: Neil Flynn 1-8 (0-3 frees), Adam Tyrrell 0-7 (4 frees), Jimmy Hyland 0-3, Kevin Feely 0-2, Fergal Conway 0-2, Mick O'Grady 0-1, Jason Gibbons 0-1, Tommy Moolick 0-1.
Scorers for Antrim: Patrick McBride 0-6, Matthew Fitzpatrick 0-3, Ryan Murray 0-2 (both frees), Stephen Beatty 0-1, James McAuley 0-1, Conor Murray 0-1
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Mark Dempsey, Mick O'Grady, Peter Kelly; Cian O'Donoghue, Eoin Doyle, David Hyland; Kevin Feely, Fergan Conway; David Slattery, Chris Healy, Keith Cribbin; Adam Tyrrell, Ben McCormack, Neil Flynn. Subs: Tommy Moolick for Keith Cribbin (HT), Mark Hyland for David Slattery (43), Conor Hartley for Peter Kelly (55), Jason Gibbons for Adam Tyrrell (57)
Black Card: Chris healy replaced by Jimmy Hyland (13)
ANTRIM: Padraig Nugent; Patrick McCormick, Ricky Johnston, Patrick Gallagher, Declan Lynch, Martin Johnston, Niall Delargy; Colum Duffin, Kevin Quinn; James McAuley, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Stephen Beatty; Ryan Murray, Patrick McBride, Conor Murray. Subs: Eunan Walsh for Martin Johnston (HT), Ruairi Scott for Stephen Beatty (HT), Ryan McNulty for Kevin Quinn (49), James Smith for Ryan Murray (53), Michael McCarry for Conor Murray (60), Fintan Burke for Niall Delargy (63).
Ref: Noel Mooney (Cavan)