A sobering 13-point defeat by Dublin ended Kildare’s perfect start to the season.
The Lilies succumbed to a far superior force at Croke Park in round four of the National League. Having led by 0-11 to 1-6 at half-time after playing against a bitter breeze, the Dubs steamrolled Kildare in the second half. Two second half goals from man-of-the-match Jack McCaffrey and Bernard Brogan left Kildare trailing by 16 points at one stage. A late Emmet Bolton goal gave the losers some minor consolation but manager Kieran McGeeney recognised it was a bad day at the office.
“Dublin have been on the receiving end of a few those too, so has everybody, that’s what happens especially in league football,” said McGeeney. “In the second half, Dublin went three or four points up straight away and fellas just couldn’t dig themselves out of it.”
Despite playing second fiddle in the first half, Kildare led by 1-6 to 0-7 after 28 minutes thanks to Seanie Johnston’s opportunistic goal. A storming finish to the first half which included a run of four points put Jim Gavin’s side in front at the break and their scoring continued at a relentless pace after half-time. They had added a further 1-7 before Kildare found the target again. Seanie Johnston’s 58th minute point was Kildare’s first for half an hour during which time they had shipped 1-11.
Kildare’s defeat means they’re now second in the table with Tyrone, who were beaten by Cork. The Rebels moved into joint fourth with Donegal, who beat Kerry, while Down’s win over Mayo on Saturday night means both teams are level on two points with Kerry propping up the table. Next up for Kildare is a trip to Mayo next weekend.