Qualifer draw: Kildare hoping Mayo win will act as a springboard

Lilywhites to take on Fermanagh in Navan for place in Super 8s

Daniel Flynn and Kevin Feely celebrate Kildare’s qualifier win over Mayo. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Some results can act as a turning point in the season, others as a springboard, and the Kildare footballers find themselves somewhere in between ahead of the fourth round qualifier against Fermanagh, confirmed for Páirc Tailteann in Navan on Saturday evening (7.0pm, live on Sky Sports).

Last Saturday evening’s shock win over Mayo in Newbridge certainly felt like a turning point, even if Kildare had already ended their nine-game losing streak, between league and championship, with earlier qualifier wins over Longford and Derry.

Forward Daniel Flynn also believes the two-point victory can bring even more out of Kildare and act as that springboard to something bigger still.

“You could look at it like that, yeah,” said Flynn. “It’s just game by game though. We could go out this weekend, get beaten, and we’re out. There are no second chances, so we just have to keep the focus on us and our performances and hopefully we can get over the next one too.”


The victory over Mayo had either little or everything to do with Kildare getting back home advantage, depending on who you listen to, although Flynn doesn’t deny it had some sort of galvanising impact on both the team and the Kildare supporters.

“I think it did have something to do with it, especially the saga and drama that went on with it. If it was just fixed for Newbridge, that would have been that, and nothing would have been said about it, just another home game. Before I’ve never the likes of support we got before the game, even outside the county, and that had a big impact on it.

“My girlfriend has just started an internship, and people were coming up to her saying ‘I hear you’re Newbridge?’, all this sort of stuff. We fed off that, thrived off it, so it was good. Even at the end, there were great scenes there at the end of the game. Especially after the league results.”

Kildare manager Cian O’Neill was quickly putting Saturday’s victory to bed, given the short turnaround: not that it would be hard to raise their spirits again for the trip to Navan to face Fermanagh.

“I don’t think it will be hard, no, they’ve come too far now,” said O’Neill. “I think they’ve come too far to get carried away and then underperform this weekend. Maybe that was a bit of learning last year after a Leinster final, we were getting pats on the back for a game we lost by nine points [to Dublin] and then underperformed the next day out [when they lost their fourth-round qualifier to Armagh, 1-17 to 0-17] .

“That’s all part of learning and experience. Once you’re in the qualifiers it’s all about the result. As I said before, it’s great to play champagne football and lose by one or two points and talk about moral victories but we needed this because of the season we had up to the qualifiers really. But to be fair to the players, it’s all about them. After a black week following the Carlow match, they got straight back to work and you’re starting to see them develop from Owenbeg to Longford to this.

“For me, all it’s done is put us into the fourth round. There have been many false dawns for Kildare football over the years, including the last three when I’ve been here.”

Elsewhere, Mickey Harte’s Tyrone were drawn to face beaten Munster finalists Cork, having already overcome Meath, Carlow and Cavan since losing to Monaghan in the Ulster championship. That game is set as a double-header at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise (5.0pm, Sky Sports) on Saturday, along with Roscommon v Armagh in the earlier game (3.0pm).

Roscommon will also hope to bounce back from their second-half Connacht final collapse against Galway, while Armagh came back from the dead to beat Clare in their Round Three encounter. All four fixtures must be decided on the day and under rule were set for neutral venues.

Monaghan, beaten by Fermanagh in the Ulster semi-final, will face Laois at Navan on Sunday at 2.0pm.


Saturday July 7th

Roscommon v Armagh, O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 3.0

Cork v Tyrone, O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 5.0 (Sky Sports)

Fermanagh v Kildare, Páirc Tailteann, Navan, 7.0 (Sky Sports)

Sunday July 8th

Laois v Monaghan, Páirc Tailteann, Navan, 2.0

Winners to be decided on the day


Saturday July 7th

Carlow v Limerick, Dr Cullen Park, 7.0

Westmeath v Wexford, Cusack Park, Mullingar, 7.0


Sunday July 8th

Kilkenny v Galway, Semple Stadium, Thurles, 3.0

If a replay ends s in a draw after extra time, two additional periods of extra time of five minutes each shall be played. If still level, the game will go to a further replay.


July 14th/15th (at Croke Park)

Group 1: Kerry v Galway; Fermanagh/Kildare v Laois/Monaghan; Group 2: Donegal v Dublin; Cork/Tyrone v Roscommon/Armagh.

July 22nd/23rd (Venues TBC)

Group 1: Fermanagh/Kildare v Galway; Laois/Monaghan v Kerry; Group 2: Cork/Tyrone v Dublin; Roscommon/Armagh v Donegal.

August 4th/5th (Venues TBC)

Group 1: Kerry v Fermanagh/Kildare; Galway v Laois/Monaghan; Group 2: Donegal v Cork/Tyrone; Dublin v Roscommon/Armagh.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics