Allianz FL D2: Derry dismantle Kildare
Allianz Football League Division 2
DERRY 2-15 KILDARE 0-7
By Ger McNally at St Conleth's Park
Derry manager Rory Gallagher labelled the performance as the best from his team this season after they thumped Kildare in Newbridge today.
It was a display of swagger befitting the Ulster champions and they outplayed a limp Kildare side in every area of the pitch. Indeed, only for a number of excellent saves from Mark Donnellan this could have been an even more embarrassing afternoon for Kildare.
Derry were tenacious in their defensive work but it was their transitions from defence to attack that Kildare just could not deal with and on the day there was a gulf in class between the teams.
Glenn Ryan’s Kildare had lost by 13 points in their last home game against Cork and an even worse defeat here leaves them teetering on the brink of relegation and they have a lot of work to do in their remaining three games if they are to avoid dropping into Division 3, and of course the Tailteann Cup.
That’s a world away from Derry’s worries and they look to have built on last year’s excellent season.
Although Odhran Lynch needed to make a save from Neil Flynn inside the opening two minutes, Derry generally dominated from the off. Benny Heron struck a post early on and then Donnellan diverted a shot from the same player over the bar in the 22nd minute. Five minutes later the Kildare goalkeeper dived low to his right to keep out an effort from Paul Cassidy.
However, a Derry goal seemed inevitable and it duly arrived on the half hour mark when Niall Loughlin was allowed too much space near the goal and he coolly finished to make it 1-5 to 0-1 at that stage.
Shane McGuigan was causing Kildare all sorts of problems and he, Ethan Doherty and Heron all scored late in the half to leave the score at 1-8 to 0-3 at the break.
McGuigan and Doherty were on the scoresheet again early in the second half before McGuigan scored Derry’s second goal in the 43rd minute after a rocket of a shot that crashed into the Kildare net via the underside of the crossbar.
Donnellan was called into action again in the 51st minute to save from Loughlin and by the time Paddy McDermott kicked Kildare’s first point of the second half in the 56th minute, Derry were 2-14 to 0-4.
The Ulster side saw out the game at their leisure after that and Gallagher was able to freshen up his side with five changes as the game closed out. They will now head into next weekend’s table topping clash against Dublin with their confidence sky high and that game in Celtic Park on Saturday evening should be one to savour.
Kildare have a big game themselves next Sunday when they travel to Louth for a crucial relegation four pointer but their confidence couldn’t be any lower and Glenn Ryan and his management team have a lot of work to do this week to prepare their players for a game that could define their season.
Scorers for Derry: Shane McGuigan 1-7 (4fs, 1m), N Loughlin 1-0, E Doherty 0-3, B Heron 0-2, N Toner 0-2 (1f), E McEvoy 0-1
Scorers for Kildare: Darragh Kirwan 0-3fs, N Flynn 0-2fs, A Beirne 0-1, P McDermott 0-1.
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Mick O'Grady, Shea Ryan, Darragh Malone; David Hyland, Kevin Flynn, Paddy McDermott; Kevin Feely, Kevin O'Callaghan; Eoin Doyle, Ben McCormack, Alex Beirne; Neil Flynn, Darragh Kirwan, Jack Robinson. Subs: Daniel Flynn for Robinson,30; Jack Sargent for Malone, h/t; Shane O'Sullivan for N Flynn, h/t; Paul Cribbin for Beirne, 43; Barry Coffey for McCormack, 54.
DERRY: Odhran Lynch; Chrissy McKaigue, Eoin McEvoy, Conor McCluskey; Conor Doherty, Padraig McGrogan, Padraig Cassidy; Conor Glass, Brendan Rogers; Niall Toner, Paul Cassidy, Ethan Doherty; Benny Heron, Shane McGuigan, Niall Loughlin. Subs: Shea Downey for McGrogan, 54; Oisin McWilliams for Heron, 59; Conleth McGuckian for Padraig Cassidy, 64; Paul McNeill for McEvoy, 65;Ben McCarron for Toner, 67.
Ref: Barry Judge (Sligo).