Dublin have plenty to spare against Kildare
Injury to Ciaran Kilkenny the only downside of league victory at Croke Park
Dublin’s Paddy Andrews scores a goal past Kildare goalkeeper Shane Connolly during the Allianz Football League Division 1 game at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Dublin 1-22 Kildare 1-12: Dublin kept their stranglehold over Kildare intact with an unfussy 10-point victory in Croke Park. Kevin McManamon stood out a mile with an eight-point contribution, with Jonny Cooper and Cian O’Sullivan impressive as well. Jason Ryan’s side hung in for long periods without ever threatening to overturn their woeful recent record in the fixture.
In front of 20,525 paying guests, Dublin started well and took a 1-10 to 1-6 lead to the break with them before kicking on in the second half. They threatened many times to loose the chains that bound them and Kildare together but for as long as they left gaps in defence, they ensured Ryan’s side were no forlorn hope.
Kildare scored one goal but could have had six – a combination of poor finishing, smart goalkeeping and the Croke Park woodwork keeping them at bay.
The found themselves heavily punished for those misses too. Within a minute of Cathal McNally palming the ball against the butt of Stephen Cluxton’s post at one end, Paddy Andrews had it in the net down the other. Instead of reducing the margin to a point, Kildare went seven behind.
It was a similar story in the second half when first McNally (crossbar) and then Tomás O’Connor (Cluxton) were denied. Had either of them found the net, Kildare would have hauled themselves back from an unpromising position to get within a single point again. Instead Dublin reeled off three points in as many minutes to put the game to bed.
The one blight on the evening for Dublin was an early knee injury to Ciaran Kilkenny. He was taken off immediately and will have a scan on Sunday morning. “Ciarán is in good spirits, that’s the most important thing,” said Dublin boss Jim Gavin afterwards. “He will have a scan and we will hope for the best.”
In the night’s other league fixture Armagh proved too strong for Laois at the Athletic Grounds, winning the Division 2 clash by 2-18 to 1-12 to move up to third in the table.
DUBLIN: 1 S Cluxton (0-2, 0-1 45, 0-1 free); 2 S George, 3 P McMahon, 4 M Fitzsimons; 5 J McCaffrey, 6 J McCarthy, 7 J Cooper (0-2); 8 C O’Sullivan (0-2), 9 MD Macualey; 10 P Andrews (1-2), 11 C Kilkenny, 12 B Cullen (0-1); 13 K McManamon (0-8, 0-4 frees), 14 C Reddin, 25 E O’Gara (0-2). Subs: 20 Davy Byrne (0-1) for Kilkenny (4 mins); 18 A Brogan for Reddin (half-time); 19 D Nelson (0-1) for Fitzsimons (half-time); 21 S Carthy for Cullen (44 mins); 22 D Daly for Cooper (52 mins); 17 T Brady (0-1) for O’Sullivan (60 mins).
KILDARE: 1 S Connolly; 2 M O’Grady, 3 M Foley, 4 H McGrillen; 5 K Murnaghan, 26 K Cribbin, 7 P Cribbin (0-1); 8 T Moolick, 9 G White; 10 C McNally, 11 E O’Flaherty (0-2, 0-1 free), 12 S Hurley; 13 P Brophy (0-1), 14 T O’Connor, 15 D Mullhall (1-6, 0-3 frees). Subs: F Conway for McGrillen (31 mins); P O’Neill for White (34 mins); 20 D Hyland for Foley (black card) (44 mins); 21 P Fogarty (0-1) for K Cribben (51 mins); 23 M Conway (0-1) for McNally (56 mins); 17 S Campbell for Hyland (black card) (68 mins).
Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)