Tailteann Cup wrap: Kildare and Sligo maintain winning ways

Down and Laois also shaping up well following wins over London and Wicklow respectively

After a sluggish start, Tailteann favourites Kildare continued their rehabilitation as they hit five second-half goals to run out 5-15 to 0-6 victors over Waterford in Dungarvan.

At half-time, the Lilywhites led by 0-8 to 0-3 but moved through the gears after the break, sub Shane O’Sullivan bagging two goals and Kevin Flynn, Niall Kelly and Paddy Woodgate also raising green flags while Darragh Kirwan bagged half their first-half total, all from play.

The Déise collapsed in the final quarter after losing midfielder Michael Curry, who was making his 100th appearance, to a second yellow card.

In Ruislip, Down’s impressive form continued as they had 17 points to spare against London. At half-time, they led 0-8 to 0-5 but the Mourne men kicked on from there, registering four points on the bounce before Odhran Murdock rattled in a 50th minute penalty. Pat Havern (three frees) and Daniel Guinness top-scored for the visitors with 0-6 apiece as they ran out 1-24 to 0-10 winners.


Another side near the head of the betting for outright honours is Sligo, who had 16 points to spare (3-22 to 1-12) over Tipperary at Semple Stadium. Tony McEntee’s men were always in control, opening a 2-11 to 1-5 half-time lead – and they had the luxury of withdrawing captain Niall Murphy, who scored 2-6, with over 20 minutes left.

Meanwhile, a fourth-minute goal from Ruairi McCann – bringing his Tailteann goal tally to three this year – saw Antrim establish a lead they would never relinquish but they were still pushed all the way by game home side Wexford.

Wexford had five of the first seven points in the second half, having trailed by four at half-time, but had debutant goalie Will Foley and full-back Gavin Sheehan to thank for keeping them in touch late on as Antrim, for whom Ryan McQuillan landed 0-6 (3f), held on to win by 1-15 to 0-17.

Fermanagh v Carlow was also decided by a first-half goal as Conor McShea’s strike just before the break helped the Erne men to a 1-4 to 0-6 half-time lead. Conor Love and Darragh McGurn came off the bench to land scores as Kieran Donnelly’s side ran out 1-13 to 0-13 winners.

Offaly, well beaten at home by London in round two, fell to another disappointing loss in Rathkeale as two second-half goals from Emmett Rigter saw Limerick pick up their first win of the season with eight to spare (2-10 to 0-8).

A 73rd minute free from Barry McNulty was the difference as Leitrim held off Longford by 2-12 to 0-17. The winners were a point in front at half-time thanks to a Ryan O’Rourke penalty, with goalkeeper Nevin O’Donnell also landing two frees, and McNulty’s goal four minutes into the second half proved vital as Longford, with Dessie Reynolds leading the way up front, just came up short at Pearse Park.

Elsewhere, Laois remain unbeaten after they scraped past Wicklow by 0-11 to 0-10. Oisin McConville’s side opened the scoring and twice led by three points in the first half but Evan O’Carroll and Killian Roche cut the gap.

Mark Barry drew them level in the 50th minute and further scores from O’Carroll and Roche put Laois three up before Conor Fee and Mark Kenny points ensured a nervy finish.