Kildare jolted to life after Down rally in Newry

Jason Ryan’s side come through after home side drew level at start of second half

Down 0-11 Kildare 1-18

Kildare huffed and puffed and finally blew Down away in the All-Ireland football championship qualifier at Newry where Jason Ryan’s men only came to life when given an almighty fright by the home side at the start of the second half.

The Lilywhites led by five points at the break but were hauled back to level after a whirlwind start to the second period by the home side, with Benny Coulter defying his age to pull the strings and bring Down back into the match.

However, Kildare re-established their dominance with Niall Kelly increasingly influential. Tommy Moolick put the icing on the cake with a stunning late goal for the visitors that saw them cruise home in the end with an unanswered 1-6 to finish as Down's tired legs gave in.

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Referee David Coldrick was busy in the first-half, flashing four yellow cards – to Kildare's Fergal Conway, Emmet Bolton and Ciarán Fitzpatrick and Down's Mark Poland – and one black card, to Eamonn Callaghan. The number of cards was a mystery, given the low level intensity of that opening period which ended with Kildare leading 0-8 to 0-3 with Niall Kelly, in spite of his enthusiasm, the only visiting forward not to raise a flag.

DOWN: M Cunningham; D McCartan, D Rooney (0-1), D O’Hagan (0-1); C McCartan, C Garvey, K McKernan (0-1); D Gordon, P Turley; B Coulter (0-3), C Maginn (0-1), M Poland; D O’Hare (0-3, all frees), N Madine, C Laverty (0-1). Subs: C Toner for Turley (34 mins), B Johnson for Madine (half-time), B McArdle for McCartan (47 mins); D Turley for B Johnson (64 mins).

KILDARE: M Donnellan; C Fitzpatrick, H McGrillen, O Lyons; E Bolton (0-1), F Conway, K Cribbin; T Moolick (1-0), G White (0-1); C McNally (0-2), N Kelly (0-2), P O’Neill (0-3); E Callaghan (0-1), P Fogarty (0-4, one free, one ’45), E O’Flaherty (0-1). Subs: A Smith (0-3) for Callaghan (25 mins, black card), M O’Grady for McGrillen (45 mins), H Lynch for White (50 mins, black card), T O’Connor for O’Flaherty (53 mins), E Doyle for Bolton (58 mins), M Conway for McNally (70 mins).

Referee: D Coldrick (Meath)

Attendance: 6,375