Sunday, January 22, 2023

Kehoe Cup – Round 4

KILDARE 0-26

DOWN 0-15

By Richard Commins

KILDARE hurlers chalked up their third successive win in the Kehoe Cup against Down in Hawkfield on Sunday afternoon with a performance that couldn’t have been more different to that against Wicklow the week before.

Cathal McCabe scorer of 0-4 in the victory over Down in Hawkfield                 Photo: Sean Brilly

With Brian Byrne back bringing his usual composure to the sweeper position, Jack Travers on fire at wing back and Cathal McCabe his usual workaholic self in midfield, David Herity’s side laid an early foundation with the game’s first six points, quickly putting the wastefulness of the Wicklow game behind them.

Travers, who took a lot of punishment from the Down men, got Kildare off the mark within two minutes and further scores from McCabe, Cathal Dowling, Paul Dolan and two James Burke frees gave them a confidence-boosting start.

Down, who shot ten first-half wides, got themselves onto the scoreboard after 16 minutes from a Chris Egan free but Kildare continued in the ascendancy. Burke had an exceptional game, showing all his class, and three points from him and further scores from Travers (2), McCabe (2), Johnny Byrne, substitute and Declan Flaherty helped them into a 0-15 to 0-5 half-time lead.

Down lifted their game in the second half, which was a much more even affair but with Kildare using all of their outfield substitutes the game lost its pattern somewhat. That said a tally of 26 points is not to be sneezed at, even if the Lilywhites didn’t manage a goal scoring opportunity over the course of the seventy minutes.

At the other end Down threatened a couple of times to raise a green flag but Paddy McKenna produced a fine save from a low Oisin McManus drive and another from Tom McGrattan and was solid throughout.

Kildare can sew up the Kehoe Cup title with a draw against Meath next Saturday lunch-time in Rathmolyon.

KILDARE: Paddy McKenna; Simon Leacy, Sean Christianseen, Cormac Byrne; Jack Travers 0-3, Cian Shanahan, Harry Carroll; Cathal McCabe 0-4, Paul Dolan 0-2; Johnny Byrne 0-1, James Burke 0-7 (4fs), Jack Higgins; Brian Byrne 0-1, David Qualter 0-3 (2fs), Cathal Dowling 0-1. Subs: Killian Aherne for Dowling 25, Declan Flaherty 0-3 for Higgins 31, Drew Costello for Carroll 49, Frank Bass for Burke 57, Reece Gavin 0-1 for Dolan 57, Sean Whelan for McCabe 61, Peter O’Donoghue for Egan 61, Micheál Hogan for Shanahan 61.

DOWN: Stephen Keith; John McManus, Barry Trainor, Tom Murray; Caolan Teggart, Matt Conlon, Niall McFarland; Jordan Doran 0-1, Liam Savage; Ryan McCusker, Chris Egan 0-6 (5fs), Pearse Óg McCrickard 0-5 (1f); Tim Prenter, Oisin McManus 0-1, Paul Sheehan 0-1. Subs: Tom McGrattan for McCusker 45, Sean Campbell 0-1 for Sheehan 51, Padraig Doran for Prenter 58, Jason Croskery for Egan 60.

Referee: Derek Ryan (Meath).

Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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