(after extra time)
Kildare will replay their Leinster Championship quarter-final with Longford back at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park next Sunday after a thoroughly entertaining tie.
Both sides kicked some wonderful points though remarkably, the second half of extra time yielded no score.
Ben McCormack had an opportunity to snatch it but was unable to gather possession in front of the posts in the game’s last act.
It would have been harsh on Longford though, who refused to wilt when it appeared on a few occasions that they might be overrun and showed commendable fortitude thoughout.
Kildare made good use of the very strong wind early on, with some excellent kicking providing a four-point advantage by the eighth minute.
David Hyland got the scoring under way from 40m and McCormack showed some neat footwork to follow up with a nice finish soon after.
Adam Tyrrell, the game’s top scorer with a goal and seven points, made it three with an outrageous effort off the outside of his left boot from the left flank and Hyland grabbed his second having marked Paddy Collum’s kickout.
High-fielding was a feature of the Lilies’ play in this opening period, Fergal Conway and Kevin Feely also getting into the act.
Their inability to be robust defensively has been a consistent issue for Kildare for a number of years however, be it the concession of ludicrous frees or offering up space.
David McGivney converted three frees in four minutes and his brother James levelled and the feel of the game had altered completely.
The sides were level three more times before Longford sliced through the Kildare rearguard once more, Daniel Mimnagh setting up Darragh Doherty for a lovely goal in the 21st minute.
Cian O’Neill’s troops responded well, with points from McCormack, Paddy Brophy and Conway and Tyrrell swooped for a goal after David Slattery’s weak shot was blocked by Paddy Collum.
That left Kildare leading by four at the break, by 1-12 to 1-8 and the margin was seven thanks to Tyrrell, Conor Hartley and Hyland.
Yet by the 54rd minute, Longford were back in touch, a point each from the McGivneys and another from John Keegan, followed by a goal from Mark Hughes within seconds of his introduction.
Tyrrell put a goal between them from two frees, the second after Keith Cribbin scuffed his shot with only Collum to beat but Longford shot the last three points from Hughes, Barry McKeon and Aidan McElligott to send the game into extra time.
In the fourth minute of injury time, James McGivney almost won it for Padraic Davis’ crew, but his wonderful effort from more than 50m hit the upright.
Kildare flew out of the traps at the beginning of extra time, David Hyland blasting over from point-blank range when he should have goaled and Jimmy Hyland grabbing a brace, the second of which was a glorious goal opportunity too.
They were three points in front but veteran Mickey Quinn grabbed an equalising goal, after McElligott broke Mimnagh’s kick.
That proved the final score of a riveting game.
SCORERS FOR KILDARE: A Tyrrell 1-7(0-3fs); D Hyland 0-4; B McCormack 0-3; F Conway, J Hyland 0-2 each, E O’Flaherty 0-1(f), P Brophy 0-1, C Hartley 0-1
SCORERS FOR LONGFORD: J McGivney, D McGivney (fs) 0-4 each; M Hughes 1-1; D Mimnagh 0-3; D Doherty, M Quinn 1-0 each; J J Keegan,B McKeon, A McElligott 0-1 each
KILDARE: M Donnellan, M Dempsey, D Hyland, M Hyland, P Kelly, E Doyle, K Cribbin, K Feely, F Conway, D Slattery, P Brophy, E O’Flaherty, A Tyrrell, B McCormack, N Flynn
Subs: C Hartley for McCormack (HT), N Kelly for O’Flaherty (57), J Hyland for Flynn (56), T Moolick for Conway (67), C McNally for Tyrrell (67), McCormack for Brophy (71), C O’Donoghue for Cribbin (HT ET), K O’Callaghan for Slattery (88)
LONGFORD: P Collum, P Fox, P McCormack, B O’Farrell, C P Smyth, A Farrell, D Quinn, J Keegan, D McGivney, G Rogers, B McKeon, M Quinn, D Mimnagh, J McGivney, D Doherty
Subs: J Hagan for Farrell (52 BC), M Hughes for Doherty (53), S Kenny for Rogers (59), A McElligott for Smyth (65), R McEntire for Kenny (76), D Doherty for Hughes (87)
REFEREE: N Cullen (Fermanagh).
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