Geezer demands ruthless approach from Kildare

KIERAN McGEENEY is a hard taskmaster, which is why Kildare have progressed from also-rans to consistent contenders since his arrival as manager at the end of 2007.

The Armagh man is demanding more improvement from his charges however, as they bid to finally win a Leinster or All-Ireland championship.

So while they were completely comfortable at St Conleth’s Park yesterday in their first competitive outing of the nascent season, McGeeney was demanding a more ruthless streak from his players, even if there were some aspects that he was pleased with.

“I was probably just disappointed that we didn’t put more scores on the boards,” McGeeney said.

“There were a couple of handy scores missed and I don’t want to be seeing that this year, I want to put those over and put another five or six points on it.

“We did well defensively; I think they scored one from play. I must look at our tackling but I thought our tackling was pretty decent. Peter [Kelly] and Ollie [Lyons] were very tight in there. There were a few frees given against them but they can go either way.

“I’m happy enough but there’s still a lot we can improve on.”

First-half goals from Padraig O’Neill and Ronan Sweeney gave the champions an eight-point lead at the break and with their defence in complete control, it was an advantage they were never likely to cede.

DIT managed only one score from play, courtesy of second-half substitute David Shatwell and despite the availability of Mayo pair Aidan O’Shea and Alan Freeman, were completely subdued as an attacking force.

With a 2-6 to 0-4 interval lead, Kildare cruised to a championship rehearsal against Offaly. McGeeney wasn’t happy to see the pipe and slippers coming out, though.

“I’d be annoyed with them playing within themselves. Teams will [bury us] if they get the chance so we have to learn to do it as well.”

Scorers for Kildare: P O’Neill, R Sweeney 1-2 each, F Dowling, E O’Flaherty (f), J Kavanagh 0-2 each, M Conway 0-1f.

DIT: A Freeman 0-6fs, B Allen 0-2fs, D Shatwell 0-1.

KILDARE: S Connolly; P Kelly, C Fitzpatrick, O Lyons; B Flanagan, G White, E O’Flaherty; D Flynn, R Sweeney; E Callaghan, M Conway, P O’Neill; A Smith, T O’Connor, F Dowling.

Subs: J Kavanagh for Callaghan (ht), D Lawler for Dowling (49), M Scanlon for Flanagan (49), K Donnelly for O’Neill (61), C Brophy for Sweeney (61).

DIT: A O’Mara (Cavan); J Gallagher (Donegal), N Devereaux (Dublin), R Tierney (Wexford); P Cunningham (Dublin), C Walshe (Monaghan), D Hughes (Monaghan); A O’Shea (Mayo), R Hazley (Dublin); P Sharry (Westmeath), D Nelson (Dublin), A Nestor (Meath); B Allen (Offaly), E Reilly (Meath), A Freeman.

Subs: A McLoughlin (Wicklow) for Gallagher (17), M Schutte (Dublin) for Nestor (25), D Shatwell (Dublin) for Cunningham (33), C Walsh (Dublin) for Hazley (60), S Flynn for Sharry (69).

Referee: J Curley (Meath).

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