McGeeney hails ‘immense’ Flynn as Lilywhites crush Tipp

KILDARE boss Kieran McGeeney described midfielder Daryl Flynn’s performance as “immense” at Semple Stadium on Saturday night.

The Lilywhites collected their first Division Two points of the season with a routine performance and after a run of seven red cards in four matches, McGeeney was happy to chat primarily about football after the game.

Suspensions, injuries and an opening day defeat against Down ensured a difficult few weeks for the former Armagh skipper but he was encouraged by a 12-point victory against outclassed Tipp.

Flynn pulled the strings at midfield, James Kavanagh fired over seven points and Ken Donnelly scored the sixth-minute goal for the visitors, who led 1-5 to 0-4 at half-time. On the debit side, Hugh McGrillen and Anthony Rainbow, who played in an unfamiliar centre forward role, came off with injuries.

McGeeney explained: “Hugh has a bruised hip bone while Anthony did his ribs the other night. He was touch and go and had painkillers beforehand. Karl Ennis played wearing a rugby cap and with four staples in his head.”

Paying tribute to Flynn, McGeeney added: “I thought he was immense, particularly in the first half. But I was happy with the full back line too. Emmet (Bolton) and Hugh stood up again and even though everybody disagrees with me, I think Mac (Andrew McLoughlin) played well again.”

1,420 spectators were present at Semple Stadium on Saturday night, the majority from Kildare, to witness Tipperary’s first home game in Division Two. At least 15 times that total are expected when the county’s hurlers entertain Kilkenny next Saturday as the big ball game continues to play second fiddle in the Premier County. Two successive promotions represented massive progress over the past two seasons but staying alive in Division 2 – now an uphill task after two defeats – would be an even bigger achievement.

Tipp’s challenge folded with 20 minutes remaining on Saturday night when Hugh Coghlan was sent off following an off-the-ball incident involving Flynn.

An irate John Evans said: “A few things didn’t go our way with refereeing calls. I have no problem with Hugh being dismissed for what he did but the referee blatantly missed a foul on Hugh, which caused his frustration.”

Scorers for Kildare: J Kavanagh 0-7 (4f), K Ennis 0-4 (3f), K Donnelly 1-0, P O’Neill 0-3, D Whyte 0-1 (45), D Earley 0-1, K Cribbin 0-1.

Scorers for Tipperary: C Sweeney 0-3 (2f), B Grogan 0-2 (1f), S Hahessy 0-2, J Cagney 0-1.

KILDARE: S McCormack; A MacLochlainn, H McGrillen, E Bolton; M Foley, B Flanagan, M Scanlon; D Flynn, D Earley; D Whyte, A Rainbow, P O’Neill; K Ennis, K Donnelly, J Kavanagh.

Subs: D Hendy for McGrillen (inj, 31), R Sweeney for Rainbow (inj, 46), H Lynch for Whyte (60), K Cribbin for Foley (63), D Lyons for Bolton (65).

TIPPERARY: M O’Donnell; C Morrissey, P Codd, C McDonald; R Costigan, N Curran, C Aylward; G Hannigan, H Coghlan; J Cagney, P Austin, P Acheson; C Sweeney, S Grogan, B Grogan.

Subs: B Mulvihill for Cagney (40), B Coen for S Grogan (46), A Rockett for Austin (54), S Hahessy for B Grogan (61), C McGrath for Codd (66).

Referee: A Mangan (Kerry).

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