Galway 2-10 -
KILDARE kicked 19 wides and kissed goodbye to a place in the All-Ireland under-21 final.
The Lilies went down by five points to Galway in Tullamore after a brutal afternoon in front of the posts. The winners led by 1-6 to 1-3 at half-time having played with the breeze but Kildare dominated the first half. They failed to make the most of their chances though and even with the elements at their back in the second half, they only added 1-2 after half-time. A second Galway goal from man-of-the-match Sean Moran put them six points clear although a Sean Hurley goal gave Kildare a fighting chance with ten minutes to go.
They failed to score again before the finish though as Galway closed out the game with two more points for a comfortable win on a day when Kildare left their best football on the training field.
“We had our chances. We could have won two or three games out there,” said manager Kieran McGeeney afterwards. ““We can’t blame anybody but ourselves. It was just one of those days. Fellas that would normally kick them over in their sleep were missing them.”
Galway enjoyed the better start with a goal from Thomas Flynn after 10 minutes but Kildare hit back straight away when Daniel Flynn found the net. Kildare briefly took the lead but Galway kicked four points on the trot to take a commanding lead, one that they didn’t relinquish for the rest of the game.
“Harrowing, I don’t know how else to describe it,” said Kildare forward Liam McGovern. “Anytime you go out in a big game like that and don’t show what you’re fully capable of, I think that’s what’s getting lads most at the moment. We’ve a lot more in us.”
Kildare looked a beaten side a long way out, especially as they continued to add to 10 first half wides with another nine in the second half. All told it was an incredibly frustrating game for the men in white as they bowed out of the All-Ireland race knowing they should have left Tullamore with their sights on another trophy.
HOW THEY LINED OUT
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Michael Konstantin, David Hyland, Sean Higgins; Paul Cribbin 0-1, Fergal Conway, Jonathan Byrne; Thomas Moolick, Sean Hurley 1-0; Liam McGovern, Niall Kelly 0-1, Daniel Flynn 1-1; Paddy Brophy, Fionn Dowling 0-1, Padraig Fogarty 0-1. Subs: Hugh Mahon for Fogarty, 50; Gavin Farrell for Dowling, 55; Tony Gibbons for McGovern, 55.
GALWAY: Thomas Healy; Mark Loughnane, James Shaughnessy, David Cunnane; Gearoid Canavan, Daithi Burke, Paul Varley; Damien Comer 0-1, Thomas Flynn 1-0; Cathal Mulryan 0-1, Sean Moran 1-1, Fiontan Ó Curraoin; Shane Walsh 0-6 (3fs), Adrian Varley, Ian Burke 0-1. Subs: Conor Rabbitte for D Burke, 41; Philip Ezergailis for Cunnane, 44; Liam Silke for Canavan, 52; Eoghan Commins for Comer, 59.
REF: Barry Cassidy (Derry)