Galway claim victory in Newbridge thriller
All Ireland SFC Quarter-Final Group 1
GALWAY 0-19 KILDARE 0-16
By Cian O'Connell at St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge
This was another afternoon providing deep satisfaction for Galway, who carved out another encouraging Championship win in Newbridge.
Kildare contributed handsomely to a gripping game, but Galway just had a bit more punch to earn a valuable victory.
During a thrilling encounter 13 different Galway players delivered scores for Kevin Walsh’s charges, who shaded an intriguing battle.
A splendid opening period packed with dynamic counter attacking football blazed with Galway eventually departing at the break armed with a slender 0-11 to 0-10 advantage.
It was chiefly due to a decent three point on the spin burst as the interval approached following some excellent Kildare play.
Though Galway, prompted by the promising Michael Daly, who was unfortunately forced off injured, accumulated a 0-5 to 0-3 lead by the 14th minute Kildare came thundering back clipping seven of the next 10 scores.
Most of those could be classed as delightful with Neil Flynn, Paul Cribbin, Daniel Flynn, and Fergal Conway all rifling over gorgeous efforts. Unsurprisingly a passionate crowd approved as Kildare converted 0-10 from their first 12 attempts.
Galway were encountering some duress, but Tom Flynn remained relevant at centrefield and Galway concluded the half strongly.
Shane Walsh landed a routine free and then nailed one from play, while Tom Flynn thumped over a long distance kick to ensure the visitors were narrowly in front at the turnaround.
After the restart the white flags weren’t being waved with the same frequency, but it was still absorbing as Walsh and Gareth Bradshaw mined points either side of a Paddy Brophy score.
Then Kildare were rocked by the 45th minute dismissal of Daniel Flynn, who was red carded for an off the ball incident.
Further Galway points from Eamonn Brannigan and Ian Burke guided the maroon outfit 0-15 to 0-12 ahead with 15 minutes left to play.
Gary O’Donnell edged Galway four clear, but Kildare, defiant until the bitter end, narrowed the gap as Paddy Brophy and two Neil Flynn points brought them back into contention.
Serious questions were being posed of Galway’s resolve, but the Tribesmen located the necessary answers as late Sean Kelly and Comer points sealed the deal.
Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh 0-4 (3fs), Damien Comer 0-3, Michael Daly 0-2, Cathal Sweeney, Gareth Bradshaw, Johnny Heaney, Peter Cooke, Tom Flynn, Sean Kelly, Ian Burke, Eamonn Brannigan, Gary O’Donnell, and Sean Armstrong 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kildare: Neil Flynn 0-5 (3fs), Paul Cribbin 0-3, Daniel Flynn, Fergal Conway, and Paddy Brophy 0-2 each, Kevin Flynn and Chris Healy 0-1 each.
GALWAY: Ruairi Lavelle; Declan Kyne, Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh, Eoghan Kerin; Cathal Sweeney, Gareth Bradshaw, Sean Kelly; Peter Cooke, Tom Flynn; Johnny Heaney, Michael Daly, Eamonn Brannigan; Ian Burke, Damien Comer, Shane Walsh.
Subs: Patrick Sweeney for Daly (11), Sean Armstrong for P Sweeney (51), Gary O’Donnell for Heaney (54), Adrian Varley for Brannigan (58, BC), Johnny Duane for O’Ceallaigh (67), Fiontan O’Curraoin for Flynn (70).
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Peter Kelly, Mick O’Grady, David Hyland; Johnny Byrne, Eoin Doyle, Kevin Flynn; Kevin Feely, Tommy Moolick; Fergal Conway, Paul Cribbin, Keith Cribbin; Neil Flynn, Daniel Flynn, Paddy Brophy.
Subs: Niall Kelly for Moolick (50), Chris Healy for K Cribbin (54), James Murray for Kelly (58), David Slattery for P Cribbin (62), Eamonn Callaghan for Brophy (67, BC), Fionn Dowling for Conway (70+4).
REFEREE: Sean Hurson (Tyrone).