FROM THE ARCHIVES – ON THIS DAY 8 APRIL
ON this in 2012, a late, late penalty by Johnny Doyle secured the draw that Kildare needed in Salthill against Galway to gain promotion to Division 1.
On the back of two seasons where they were the width of a crossbar away from reaching an All-Ireland final in 2010 and then lost by a point to Dublin in the 2011 Leinster semi-final and by the same score in heartbreaking fashion to Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter-final, Kieran McGeeney’s team were clearly on a upwardly trajectory.
However, they made a slow start to the 2012 season. They were beaten by Tyrone in the opening round of the league on a bitterly cold night in Croke Park and then fell to Monaghan in Clones after Brian Flanagan had been sent off following a half time scuffle.
An injury time winning point by Ollie Lyons in Navan sealed a thrilling win over Meath to kickstart Kildare’s season and they followed that with wins against Derry, Louth and Westmeath.
That set up a promotion decider against Galway in the final round. Galway needed a win to join Tyrone in promotion to the top flight while Kildare had the advantage of knowing that a draw was enough to satisfy their requirements.
It looked like Galway would continue their hoodoo over Kildare when they led by three points with the allotted three minutes of injury time played but in the last action of the game Dermot Earley, only on as a 59th minute substitute, caused consternation inside the square under a high ball and after laying the ball off to Emmet Bolton the Eadestown man was fouled.
That left all the pressure in the world on the shoulders of Johnny Doyle as he stood up to take the penalty but you wouldn’t have guessed it as he coolly slotted it home.
“Coolness personified, cometh the hour cometh the man,” said McGeeney, after the game.
Doyle went on to lift the Division 2 league title on the steps of Croke Park after Padraig Fogarty’s power packed intervention off the bench. Kildare would go on to reach the Division 1 semi-finals in 2013 before being relegated to Division 2 in Jason Ryan’s first season in charge in 2014.
A draw was also good enough for Kildare on this date in 2007.
Laois were the visitors to St Conleths and the ground was packed for a game with a National League semi-final place at stake, a match which proved to be the last home game under the management of John Crofton.
As in 2012, Kildare needed just a draw while only a win would do for their opponents. In a closely fought battle, Laois briefly led by by two points after a Colm Parkinson goal in the first half but other than that there was never more than a point between the sides.
Johnny Doyle and Tadhg Fennin did most of the scoring for Kildare and a 0-15 to 1-12 draw was enough to set up a semi-final against Donegal, which Kildare lost by two points.
In 2001, Johnny Doyle could only score a point from a penalty in Dungarvan but still ended up with six points, same tally as Padraig Brennan, as Kildare trounced Waterford 0-14 to 1-4.
In 1984, Kildare’s participation in the Centenary Cup proved to be short lived as they were beaten 2-7 to 0-10 by Tyrone in the first round. The first of two goals from Eugene McKenna late in the first half set up Tyrone for the win and despite six points from Larry Tompkins Kildare never looked like mounting a comeback.
There was also Ulster opposition for Kildare on this day in 1979 when the Tom Carew inspired side beat Down in a National League quarter-final at Croke Park.
Kildare failed to make the most of a very strong wind in the first half and their chances appeared slim as they turned around to play in to the gale in the second half with just a 0-7 to 0-3 lead but they dug in to grind out an 0-11 to 0-7 win. Ollie Crinnigan, Frank Mulligan, Joe Giblin, Paddy O’Donoghue, Mick Moore, Denis Dalton, Mick Condon were all credited in the Nationalist report with strong performances, along with Carew.
The win set up a League semi-final against Cork but unfortunately Kildare proved no match for a Cork side containing the likes of Billy Morgan and Jimmy Barry-Murphy and the men from the south of the country won by 2-9 to 0-4 in Croke Park.