Allianz Football League Division 2: Cork 2-14 Kildare 0-7
This game in Newbridge was billed as a battle between two sides desperate to avoid a second league defeat but in the end it only looked like one team had those intentions.
There may have been positives for Kildare to take out of their one point defeat to Dublin the previous week but there were no such thoughts here after a dismal display. Cork, however, were much improved. Having conceded three goals last week, they tightened up defensively and held Kildare scoreless until the 28th minute.
That defensive solidity was not at the expense of their forward play, and they caused Kildare endless problems, goals from Sean Powter in the 15th minute and from Cathail O’Mahony in the 74th minute the highlights of their afternoon.
There were no scores in the opening 10 minutes of the game but even though Kildare had more of the ball during that period it still felt as if the game was being played on Cork’s terms. They protected their 45 very well, and Kildare were restricted to attacking around the fringes of their defence.
Brian Hurley opened the scoring with points in the 10th and 14th minutes, and then turned provider for the opening goal of the game when he played the ball across the face of the Kildare goal and Powter was able to bundle home.
At that stage the game already felt like it was slipping away from Kildare. Cork had 1-6 on the scoreboard before Jimmy Hyland finally gave the large home support something to cheer about with Kildare’s first point.
The home manager Glenn Ryan had seen enough and made two substitutions before the break. One of those, Ben McCormack, scored the last point of the first half but with the score at 1-8 to 0-2 as the sides headed for the dressingroom the game already felt over as a contest.
Kildare did improve very slightly in the opening stages of the second half and outscored Cork by 0-3 to 0-2 in the opening 15 minutes, but any hope of getting back into the game evaporated when Alex Beirne let frustrations get the better of him and he was shown a red card for lashing out at a Cork player.
Cork saw the game out comfortably from there and they completed their afternoon when O’Mahony got in for a late goal, and a black card shown to Killian O’Hanlon in the final seconds proved completely inconsequential.
KILDARE: M Donnellan; M O’Grady, S Ryan, R Houlihan; D Malone, K Flynn, P McDermott; A Masterson, K O’Callaghan; N Flynn, D Hyland, P Cribbin; J Hyland 0-2 (1f), D Kirwan 0-1, J Robinson 0-3. Subs: T Archbold for Houlihan (28); B McCormack 0-1 for Flynn (31); A Beirne for Cribbin (h/t); K. Feely for A Masterson (46); D Flynn for J Hyland (53).
CORK: M Martin; M Shanley, D O’Mahony, T Walsh; L Fahy 0-1, R Maguire, M Taylor; C O’Callaghan 0-1, I Maguire; E McSweeney, S Powter 1-0, B O’Driscoll 0-3; B Hurley 0-4 (1m, 1f, 1′45), C Jones, S Sherlock 0-4 (1f, 1′45). Subs: C O’Mahony 1-1 for Jones (h/t); R Deane for McSweeney (52); C Corbett for Sherlock (55); K O’Hanlon for O’Callaghan (59-62, b/s); S Meehan for Powter (66-f/t, b/s); K O’Hanlon for I Maguire (70); C Kiely for R. Maguire (70+3).
Referee: J. Henry (Mayo).