Kildare 1-16 -
KILDARE huffed and puffed and gave it their all but for the fourth successive league game that wasn’t enough for them to pick up any points and they remain rooted to the foot of Division 2A with no points from four games.
Always known for honesty, manager Willie Sunderland would have no problem laying into his team if he thought they deserved it but he has been more disappointed after some wins than he was after this game. Losing is a habit of course, and it’s a habit his team just can’t shake at the moment, but the general performances around the field aren’t far off what’s required.
There is still the problem of conceding sloppy goals at the back. There was nothing that Paul Dermody could do about the first, which was a real kick in the stomach coming just a minute after he produced a quite stunning save, but Kildare should have cleared their lines long before Shane Nolan grabbed the second.
It was another game where Kildare were right in there with a chance of winning with 20 minutes to go but having put themselves in a position where they could have kicked for home, they were left floundering.
There was little to choose between the teams during an even first half. Kerry held a 0-9 to 0-8 lead at the break with Shane Nolan contributing six of those points for Kerry. Even though Kerry only managed three points from play during the opening 35 minutes the suspicion was that they were finding it easier to raise white flags.
Kildare hung in there and having trailed by three points at one stage, they came to level things up just before half time before Kerry inched ahead once more.
The beginning of the second half was very similar with the teams going score until Kerry led 0-11 to 0-10. The Kingdom then definitely moved through the gears and Kildare struggled to keep up. Dermody showed the sort of reflexes that any cat would have been proud of to arch his body and push Nolan’s goalbound shot over the bar but a minute later he was picking the sliotar out of his net following Nolan’s low shot.
Kildare brushed that disappointment off and scored three of the next four points to cut the difference between the teams back to a goal but Nolan then pounced on hesitancy by Fiachra Ó Muineacháin and went on to round Dermody before scoring his second goal.
Kerry tagged on two points to move eight clear with nine minutes to play but Kildare at least showed the pride they have in themselves. They outscored Kerry by 1-3 to 0-1 in the closing minutes with youngster Mark Delaney grabbing the goal.
It was too little too late and Kildare now must travel to Westmeath in their final league game before that winner takes all relegation play off.
KILDARE: Paul Dermody; John Doran, Fiachra Ó Muineacháin, Patrick Curtin, Niall Ó Muineacháin, Richie Hoban, Paudie Reidy 0-1; Mark Moloney, Kieran Divilly; Danny Butler 0-1, Mick Purcell, Paul Divilly 0-7fs, David Harney, Billy Nolan 0-1, Gerry Keegan 0-4. Subs: Ross Kelly 0-1 for Hoban, 14; Mark Delaney 1-1 for Nolan, 45; David Kennedy for Harney, 45; Peadar Downey for Kelly, 47.