Win keeps Kildare hopes alive as Cavan continue push for promotion
Kildare kept their hopes of remaining in Division 2 of the Allianz Football League alive with a dramatic last-ditch 1-12 to 1-9 victory over neighbours Laois at O’Moore Park last night.
Jason Ryan’s crew were trailing by a point when Emmet Bolton finished a wonderful move by rifling a shot to the top corner of the Laois net in the 70th minute.
Paul Cribbin lofted over a point from distance before Laois’ night ended in an even worse manner, when Donie Kingston was shown a straight red card after an off-the-ball incident.
Conditions were difficult and Kildare would probably have been pleased to go in at the break on 0-5 apiece, having played into a strong wind.
Eoghan O’Flaherty and Niall Kelly kicked a couple of excellent points for the visitors but Kingston and Niall Donoher slotted some fine scores themselves for Laois.
Kildare flew into a five-point lead in the second half and looked to be cruising, with the outstanding Alan Smith and Padraig Fogarty doing the damage, while the defence and middle third dominated.
Kingston set up Colm Begley for a 56th minute goal and the tide turned. Laois actually moved ahead and through a Begley point and though Fogarty levelled with a wonderfully-judged kick off the deck into the wind from 40m, it looked like the home team had snatched it with a magnificent point by Damien O’Connor.
There was still time for Kildare though and Bolton was the right man in the right place to claim the spoils.
At Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan scored their first goal of the League campaign and it was significant, as they beat Westmeath by 1-8 to 1-3 to keep their promotion hopes alive.
The crucial score arrived 10 minutes into the second half, as Brendan Fitzpatrick did the honours from close range.
With Cian Mackey and the ultra-consistent Gearoid McKiernan prominent, Terry Hyland’s men maintained their control on proceedings for the remainder of the game to see it out well.
The sides went in level at the change of ends. Kieran Martin goaled early on for Westmeath and went three points clear despite playing into the wind but Martin Dunne and Martin Reilly helped to peg them back and it was 0-4 to 1-1 at the interval.
Fitzpatrick’s goal opened up a gap that Cavan maintained throughout and with Dunne and McKiernan raising white flags, they never seemed likely to be caught.