Lawlor hails Kildare’s surprise victory over Kerry

Manager thrilled as Lilywhites save their best performance of season for Croke Park

Christy Ring Cup final
Kildare 4-22 Kerry 2-22
Nicky Rackard Cup final
Tyrone 1-17 Fingal 1-16
Lory Meagher Cup
Longford 3-18 Ferm'agh 3-16

Kildare manager Brian Lawlor believes his side deserve automatic promotion to next year's MacCarthy Cup for winning the Christy Ring Cup.

The Lilies overcame terrible spring form and a poor record against Kerry to inflict a surprise 4-18 to 2-22 final win at Croke Park on Saturday afternoon.

Kerry had beaten relegated Kildare by 17 points in the Allianz League and by eight when the sides met again in the Ring Cup just last month.

But Lawlor's Lilies saved their biggest performance of the season for the tier two final, scoring 2-9 in both halves to seal a maiden title. Their reward is a play-off with Westmeath next Saturday to decide which side plays in next year's Leinster qualifier series.


“I believe we should be going straight up for winning this,” said Lawlor. “The same way Kerry should be in Division 1B of the national league next year.

“Kerry won their division, they should have been promoted. We won our championship, we should have been promoted. Neither happened. In what other sport or even in what other section of the GAA do you win a competition and not get promoted?”

Lawlor said he wouldn’t stop his players from celebrating Saturday’s win despite the short turnaround to the Westmeath game.

The Tipperary native maintained they deserve it after a thrilling display that saw them improve as the game reached its climax. They trailed by 2-10 to 2-9 at half-time but second-half goals from Ray McLoughney and Bernard Deay guided them to a famous win.

Third consecutive It was even closer in the earlier Nicky Rackard Cup final as Tyrone overcame Fingal 1-17 to 1-16 to keep the title in Ulster for a third consecutive season.

Mattie Lennon's side led 1-8 to 0-10 at half-time courtesy of Christopher Cross' 25th minute goal. Captain Damien Casey hauled them to victory in the second-half with five points and eight overall.

Meanwhile, Longford matched their 2010 Lory Meagher Cup final win by defeating Fermanagh 3-18 to 3-16.

Fermanagh led 2-8 to 1-10 at half-time and full-forward Declan McGarry scored three goals though Eoin Donnellan’s 1-9 haul for Longford proved decisive.

CHRISTY RING CUP FINAL STATS Kildare: 1 P Dermody (1-0, 1-0 pen); 4 N O Muineachain, 3 F O Muineachain, 2 J Doran; 5 D Harney, R 7 Hoban, 8 E O'Neill; 6 M Moloney, 9 M Fitzgerald (0-2); 11 P Divilly (0-7, five frees), 10 R Kelly, 12 B Deay (1-3); 13 G Keegan (1-4), 14 T Murphy, 15 R McLoughney (1-2). Subs.: M Delaney for Kelly (56), J O'Malley for Murphy (70). Kerry: 1 T Flynn (0-1, free); 4 D Fitzell, 3 T Murnane, 5 S Weir; 2 B Murphy, 6 D Dineen, 7 T Casey (0-1); 8 D O'Connell, 11 D Collins (0-1); 12 J Egan (0-4, 2f), 15 S Nolan (1-4), 9 C Harty (0-3); 14 P Boyle (1-2), 10 M Boyle, 13 D Butler (0-3). Subs.: J Griffin 0-3 for Fitzell (h/t), B O'Leary for M Boyle (62), J Leahy for T Casey (65), J Casey for Butler (67). Referee: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny).

NICKY RACKARD CUP FINAL STATS Tyrone: 1 J Devlin; 2 C McNally, 3 R Devlin, 4 M O'Gorman; 5 M Grogan, 6 S Donnelly, 7 A Kelly; 8 M Winters (0-1), 9 G Fox; 10 C Grogan (0-2), 11 T Morgan (0-1), 12 C Cross (1-0); 13 M Mulgrew (0-1), 14 D Casey (0-8, six frees), 15 G Gilmore (0-4). Subs.: P McAllister for Kennedy (32), M Devlin for Winters (57), S Og Grogan for Cross (60), D Marshall for Gilmore (69), R O'Neill for Casey (72). Fingal: 1 H Murray-Hession; 2 P Coyne, 3 N Ring, 4 A Morris; 5 B Kelly, 6 D Vaughan, 7 I Kennedy; 8 D Hattie, 9 P Sheridan; 10 D Kelly (0-1), 14 D Smyth (1-2), 12 P Daly; 13 C O'Flynn, 11 A Richardson, 15 JM Sheridan (0-11, seven frees, two 65s). Subs.: D Butterley (0-1) for Richardson (49), C Foley (0-1) for D Kelly (53), G Morris for A Morris (54). Referee: Declan O'Driscoll (Limerick).

LORY MEAGHER CUP FINAL STATS Longford: 1 P Cullen; 2 C Egan, 3 B Stakem, 4 K Murray; 5 P Corcoran, 6 C Flanagan, 7 R Donnellan; 8 J Casey (0-1), 9 D Tanner; 12 K Connelly (0-2), 11 M Coyle, 10 E Donnellan (1-9, 1-7 frees, one 65); 15 J Newman (0-1), 14 C Mullane (0-3), 13 J O'Brien (2-2). Subs.: G Ghee for Newman (41), C Kavanagh for Corcoran (65), T Stakem for E Donnellan (72). Fermanagh: 1 M Curry; 2 D Teague, 3 E Morrissey, 22 A Breslin; 5 M Teague, 6 M Slevin, 4 F Bannon; 8 R Bogue (0-1), 9 F McBrien (0-1); 10 J Duffy (0-1), 11 B McGarry, 7 JP McGarry; 13 S Corrigan (0-10, eight frees, one 65), 14 D McGarry (3-1, 1-0 free), 15 C Corrigan (0-1). Subs.: S Curran (0-1) for Bannon (41), B Duffy for B McGarry (55), M Beggan for McBrien (70). Referee: James Clarke (Cavan).