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Martin Fitzgerald, Kildare, and Oisin Gately, London, in Christy Ring Cup Final action at Croke Park.
Martin Fitzgerald, Kildare, and Oisin Gately, London, in Christy Ring Cup Final action at Croke Park.

Christy Ring Cup: Kildare claim silverware


Christy Ring Cup Final

KILDARE 3-19 LONDON 1-11

By Michael Devlin at Croke Park

Kildare's name is back on the Christy Ring cup for the first time since 2014 after following a commanding performance against London.

The Lilywhites struck for goals at key times as they ran out 14 point winners in the end, with James Burke landing eight points.

Joe Quaid’s men opened up a 0-4 to 0-2 lead inside 13 minutes with Burke landing three points and Eanna O’Neill popping over a point from wing back, London’s scores coming from free taker Aaron Sheehan.

Both teams were guilty of wayward shooting and it wasn’t until the 20th minute that the next scores came, both from play from Burke. Prior to that London keeper James Barrett produced a great save to deny Jack Sheridan a goal.

Two more Sheahan frees and a Shane Lawless point reduced the arrears, but in the 33rd minute Kildare struck for the game’s first goal, Sheridan doing brilliantly to round his marker and lash home from a tight angle past Barrett.

Matters got worse for London when corner back Lee Murphy got his marching orders after picking up a second yellow, and despite another free from Sheahan, Kildare finished then half strong with scores from Brian Byrne and Kevin Whelan.

Six points up at the break, Kildare picked things up were they left off, Burke from two placed balls and a Martin Fitzgerald point keeping them in control. London’s response came from Sheahan and Lawless, but a goal from Shane Ryan for the Lilywhites in the 48th minute put clear daylight between the sides, the corner forward’s clever shimmy eluding Dennis O’Regan before crashing the ball past a helpless Barrett.

Kildare kept their foot on the pedal, cancelling out Kevin O’Loughlin and Lawless scores with points from Paul Divilly and Eanna O’Neill. Mark Delaney then added frees in the 62nd and 65th minutes, either side of the goal that put the game to bed, Sheridan cutting through to fire low into the bottom corner for Kildare’s third.

London valiantly battled on despite the scoreline, and Colin Nelson powered through to bag a consolation goal, with a Joseph Troy point coming right at the end, but Joe Quaid’s men survived.

Scorers for Kildare: James Burke 0-8 (3fs), Jack Sheridan 2-2 (1f), Shane Ryan 1-0, Eanna O’Neill 0-2, Paul Divilly 0-2, Mark Delaney 0-2, Kevin Whelan 0-1, Brian Byrne 0-1

Scorers for London: Aaron Sheehan 0-6 (5fs), Shane Lawless 0-3, Colin Nelson 1-0, Kevin O’Loughlin 0-1 (f), Joseph Troy 0-1

KILDARE: Paddy McKenna; Cian Forde, John Doran, Paul Sullivan, Eanna O’Neill, Mark Moloney, Mark Grace; Niall O Muineachain, Brian Byrne (c); James Burke, Paul Divilly, Kevin Whelan; Shane Ryan, Martin Fitzgerald, Jack Sheridan. Subs: Mark Delaney for Shane Ryan (50), Bernard Deay for Kevin Whelan (55), Mick Purcell for James Burke (61), Barry Cormack for Martin Fitzgerald (70), Paul Dermody for Paddy McKenna (70).

LONDON: James Barrett; Lee Murphy, Brian Regan, Dennis O’Regan; Chris McAlinden, Kevin Reid, Cillian Burke; Fergal Collins, Mark Dwyer; Henry Vaughan, Colin Nelson, Sean Conlon; Martin Duggan, Shane Lawless, Aaron Sheahan. Subs: Kevin O’Loughlin for Henry Vaughan (21), Oisin Gately for Sean Conlon (HT), Darren Moore for Kevin Reid (43), Joseph Troy for Aaron Sheehan (46), Richard Murphy for Martin Duggan (56).

REFEREE: Patrick Murphy (Carlow).