All-Ireland SFC: Dublin secure important win
All-Ireland SFC Group Three
Dublin 0-22 Kildare 0-13
By Ger McNally at UPMC Nowlan Park
Dublin produced a strong display that Kildare just could not match in the summer sunshine at UPMC Nowlan Park and by the final whistle, there was nine points between the teams.
Dessie Farrell’s side started without a number of injured players, such as Jack McCaffrey, Davy Byrne, Ciaran Kilkenny, and Paul Mannion, and they were forced into a further late change when Cormac Costello was a late withdrawal due to a precaution over an ankle injury.
However, in a show of real strength in depth, some of their replacements went on to have outstanding games, particularly Colm Basquel, who ended the game as their top scorer with five points.
The opening of the game was played at a helter skelter pace and after a frantic end to end opening quarter, the scores were tied at 0-5 points apiece.
Dublin appeared to be playing a risky game at that stage of the match by pushing up the field and leaving gaps at the back, but the closest Kildare came to punishing them to the maximum was an eighth minute shot by Darragh Kirwan that brought a smart save out of Stephen Cluxton.
Gradually Dublin began to wear Kildare down and six unanswered points moved them into an 0-11 to 0-5 lead by the 25thminute.
Dublin led by 0-13 to 0-8 at the half time break but had to then weather an early storm from Kildare at the start of the second half. Ben McCormack scored the first two points after the restart but Kildare proved to be their own worst enemies when two pieces of squandered possession led to points from Sean Bugler and a Dean Rock free.
That set the tone for an error strewn performance from Kildare in the second half, with every error ruthlessly punished by a clinical Dublin side.
There was five points between the sides heading into the final 20 minutes, but as Kildare tired, Dublin enjoyed another scoring burst and doubled their lead by scoring five points on the trot.
A Kevin Feely mark may yet prove important for Kildare as scoring difference could yet prove crucial after the final round of games in two weeks, but it was scant consolation on the day for Glenn Ryan’s team as Dublin ran out comfortable winners.
Scorers for Dublin: C Basquel 0-5 C O’Callaghan, D Rock (2fs) 0-4 each, S Bugler 0-3, P Mannion 0-2, N Scully, K O’Gara, B Fenton, T Lahiff 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kildare:N Flynn 0-5 (2fs, 1 45), B McCormack (0-3), D. Kirwan, P Woodgate (f), A Masterson, K O’Callaghan, K Feely (m) 0-1 each.
Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Daire Newcombe, Michael Fitzsimons, Sean McMahon; Brian Howard, John Small, Lee Gannon; Brian Fenton, James McCarthy; Niall Scully, Sean Bugler, Colm Basquel; Dean Rock, Con O’Callaghan, Killian O’Gara.
Subs: Paul Mannion for O’Gara (HT), Lorcan O’Dell for Rock (48), Tom Lahiff for O’Callaghan, Cian Murphy for Small (both 59), Greg McEneaney for S. MacMahon (70+1).
Kildare: Mark Donnellan; Mick O’Grady, Shea Ryan, Eoin Doyle; David Hyland, Kevin Flynn, Jack Sargent; Kevin O’Callaghan, Aaron Masterson; Paddy McDermott, Ben McCormack, Alex Beirne; Neil Flynn, Darragh Kirwan, Paddy Woodgate.
Subs: Ryan Houlihan for Doyle, Tony Archbold for Sargent (both HT), Kevin Feely for Masterson (48); Paul Cribbin for McCormack (54).
Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone).