Allianz National Hurling League – Division 2A – Round 4
By Pat Costello
KILDARE senior hurlers continued their unbeaten run and a momentum that has been building for 12 months now when they outclassed Kerry at a wet and sometimes windy St Conleth’s Park on Saturday afternoon to claim two valuable Division 2A National Hurling League points and a home semi final, at least. Victory over Offaly on Sunday next would guarantee David Herity’s men a passage straight through to the League Final.
The game marked the return of Paul Divilly for the first time this season and the Confey man was involved in probably one of the best team goals ever scored in Newbridge. The move started with a clearance from Paddy McKenna to Rian Boran and there was an interchange of passes involving the Naas and Confey men before Brian Byrne was released to fire passed John B O’Halloran on 38 minutes. They game was firmly set Kildare’s way on the hour mark when the hard working Gerry Keegan got through for a great individual goal to give Kildare a 2-19 to 0-17 lead.
The foundation for Kildare’s victory came during two spells in the first half when twice they went on a scoring spree, notching 0-5 without reply between the 10th and 18th minute and 0-7 without reply in the 15 minutes before half time. Not surprisingly James Burke was once again Kildare’s top scorer with 0-12 (10 frees) but there was good support scoring from Paddy McKenna, Cathal McCabe, Paul Dolan, Cathal Dowling as well as the goal scorers, Byrne and Keegan.
Kerry relied heavily on the free taking of Padraig Boyle and then Shane Conway when the corner forward was substituted on 45 minutes. Kerry got as close as five points but Keegan’s goal ensured that Kildare would not be denied on the day.
KILDARE: Paddy McKenna 0-1: Niall O Muineachain, Simon Leacy, Cormac Byrne; Cian Shanahan, Rian Boran, Conan Boran; Paul Dolan 0-1, Cathal McCabe 0-1; James Burke 0-12 (10 frees), Gerry Keegan 1-2, Paul Divilly; Brian Byrne 1-0, Declan Flaherty 0-1, Cathal Dowling 0-1 Subs: Jack Travers for Cian Shanahan H/T, Cian Boran for Paul Divilly 46, Mark Delaney 0-1 for Declan Flaherty 57, Jack Higgins for Gerry Keegan 66, Drew Costello for Conan Boran 73.
KERRY: John B O’Halloran: Cillian Trant, Eric Leen, Eoin Ross; Evan Murphy, Michael Boyle, Paudie O’Connor; Daniel Collins 0-1, Gavin Dooley 0-2; Kyle O’Connor, Fionan MacKessy, Michael Leane; Shane Conway 0-10 (5 frees 1 x ’65), Daithi Griffin, Padraig Boyle 0-6 (5 frees) Subs: Keith Carmody 0-1 for Daithi Griffin H/T, Niall Mulcahy for Paudie O’Connor H/T, Jordan Conway 0-1 for Padraig Boyle 45, Jason Diggins for Evan Murphy 49,
REFEREE: Caymon Flynn (Westmeath)