Kildare unconvincing against Sligo
28/07/2012 - 20:51:47
Kildare 0-13 Sligo 0-4
Kildare got the job done at Hyde Park today, but not in a manner that will cause All-Ireland quarter-final opponents Cork many sleepless nights.
The Lilywhites did completely snuff out Sligo’s attacking threat, but failed to sparkle as an offensive force.
Their old failing came back to haunt them again, an inability to hammer home the advantage on the scoreboard frustrating their supporters among the crowd of 12,851.
After scoring six times in a blistering opening 11 minutes, Kieran McGeeney’s side managed just seven more in the remainder of the game.
That said, they never looked like allowing Sligo to derail their march into the last eight, and were deserving and comprehensive winners on the night.
Sligo managed just one point from play, and that was in stoppage time, their only score while playing with wind advantage in the second half.
Kildare threatened to swamp the beaten Connacht finalists with an early barrage which produced points from Alan Smith, Robert Kelly and Tomas O’Connor.
Michael Foley was a colossus at midfield, and Morgan O’Flaherty and Emmet Bolton pushed forward time and again from the back.
Sligo were chasing the game from an early stage, and by the 12th minute, they trailed by 0-6 to no score.
But Kildare were unable to sustain the tempo of an impressive opening. Mikey Conway and Eoghan O’Flaherty both on target from frees, and James Kavanagh made 0-8 to 0-1, but they struggled for scores thereafter.
They allowed their opponents to gradually play their way into the game, and even though Sligo failed to score from play, they were just five points adrift at the break.
David Maye and Adrian Marren (2) converted frees to lift the Yeatsmen, while the Lilywhites became increasingly frustrated with their own failure to stamp their authority on the contest.
Kildare led by 0-8 to 0-3 at half-time, but continued to struggle to find scores after the break.
Emmet Bolton did have a glorious goal chance when he collected loose ball from Conway’s cross, but Philip Greene pulled off a terrific save.
Conway and Johnny Doyle were badly off target, until O’Flaherty kicked his fourth free to get them going again.
Now playing with a more measured approach, and holding possession, they frustrated their opponents, squeezing the Sligo attack out of the game.
Wing backs Eoin Doyle and Emmet Bolton both pushed forward to score, although the latter should have had a goal when sent clear by Tomas O’Connor’s lay-off.
Sligo were unable to break down the Lilywhite defensive system, and failed to score while playing with the wind until substitute Eamonn O’Hara fired over their only point from play in stoppage time.
Meanwhile, Kildare had made the game safe, Conway slotting a free between the posts and Alan Smith on target for the second time.
Sligo frustration boiled over five minutes form time when defender Charlie Harrison was sent off on a straight red card for striking Johnny Doyle with an elbow.
Kildare: E O’Flaherty 0-4 (4f), M Conway (2f), A Smith 0-2 each, T O’Connor, J Kavanagh, R Kelly, E Bolton, E Doyle
Sligo: A Marren 0-2 (2f), D Maye (f), E O’Hara 0-1 each
KILDARE: S Connolly, O Lyons, P Kelly, H McGrillen, E Bolton, M O’Flaherty, E Doyle, M Foley, R Kelly, E O’Flaherty, M Conway, A Smith, J Doyle, T O’Connor, J Cavanagh.
Subs: P O’Neill for Kelly (55), D Earley for Foley (61), E Callaghan for E O’Flaherty, S Johnston for J Doyle, G White for Bolton (69)
SLIGO: P Greene, N Ewing, J Martyn, R Donovan, C Harrison, M Quinn, P McGovern, E Mullan, T Taylor, M Breheny, D Maye, S Coen, A Costello, A Marren, D Kelly.
Subs: P Hughes for Kelly (h-t), S McManus for Mullan (44), E O’Hara for Coen (53), K Cawley for Costello (57), B Egan for Breheny (57)
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