Daniel Flynn returns to see Kildare past Fermanagh
Jack O’Connor era gets off to a flying start thanks to crucial second-half goal
Daniel Flynn’s goal helped Kildare past Fermanagh. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Kildare 2-12 Fermanagh 0-14
A large crowed poured into St Conleths Park to see the start of the Jack O’Connor era, but it was returning hero Daniel Flynn who scored a crucial second half goal to ensure the Kerryman began with a win.
Flynn’s goal came just after a spell of four points in a row for Fermanagh that turned a three-point deficit into a one-point lead in the 57th minute lead.
Kildare have struggled before against teams who are defensively well-organised and being behind heading into the last ten minutes was the last place they wanted to be.
However, just a minute after Ultan Kelm had put Fermanagh ahead, the home side put together a move that involved a delightful pass by Paddy Brophy, some hard work by Shea Ryan, and once Flynn got on the ball he finished with aplomb to give Kildare a lead they preserved until the final whistle.
Fermanagh could have made a dream start when Ciaran Corrigan rounded Mark Donnellan after five minutes, but once the ball was knocked from his hands he somehow how managed to smash it off the crossbar from just six yards with the goal gaping.
Kildare captain David Hyland showed him how it’s done at the far end just three minutes later when he was sent through on goal by Tommy Moolick and he calmly rounded James McGrath before scoring his first goal for his county.
Despite that early blow, Fermanagh stuck to their task and when Ryan Jones scored two points in a row they led by 0-6 to 1-2 in the 23rd minute.
Kildare then hit back with three points in a row before a 45 in injury time by Conall Jones left just a point between the teams at the break, 1-5 to 0-7.
Daragh McGurn quickly levelled up the scores early in the second half but three Neil Flynn points in a row put Kildare in charge.
However, that run of four points in a row put Fermanagh seemingly on course for an away win but timing of Flynn’s goal was crucial.
Kildare: M Donnellan; P Kelly, M O’Grady, L Healy, J Byrne, C Kavanagh (0-1), S Ryan; D Hyland (1-0), T Moolick; N Flynn (0-7, six frees, P Cribbin (0-1), P Brophy; J Robinson, D Flynn (1-2, one mark), N Kelly. Subs: K Flynn for Hyland (21 min); E Doyle (0-1) for Byrne (HT); K Cribbin for N Kelly (HT); J Hyland for Robinson (54); K Feely for Moolick (56).
Fermanagh: J McGrath; J Cassidy, C Cullen, K McDonnell; D McCusker, R O’Callaghan, Shane McGullion; E Donnelly, R Jones (0-3); A Breen, U Kelm (0-1), C Corrigan, Stephen McGullion, C Jones (0-8, six frees, one 45), D McGurn (0-2). Subs: E Shiels for McDonnell (62 min), K Connor for McCusker (65), G Jones for Stephen McCullion; L McStravick for O’Callaghan (72).
Referee: Fergal Kelly, Longford.