This was his first ‘competitive’ outing as Kildare manager, and with another Lilywhite selection that included the likes of Ollie Lyons having played (and lost) to Tipperary in the morning, he was satisfied with the day’s work.
“We’ve a lot of players we’re trying to get a look at” said Ryan. Darroch Mulhall impressed in deep creative positions but also weighed in with five first-half points and finished with seven.
Eoghan O’Flaherty also finished with 2-5, 1-3 of which came in that opening period.
The goal came at the end of a four-man move that involved a neat chip-lift by Mulhall. The Athy man also showed good appreciation of what was going on around him to wait for fellow debutant Adam Tyrrell to race outside him and time the pass perfectly for goal number two.
O’Flaherty bagged his second goal after 23 seconds of the second-half and Pádraig Fogarty slid to the net from a penalty three minutes later, after being brought down by Jack Donoghue, who earned the distinction of being this game’s only black-card victim as a result.
Conor Tiernan’s pace from half-back was notable throughout, with the Sarsfields man notching up three points in the first-half.
Cathal Shine was the chief scoring threat for Athlone IT, who were a greater threat with the wind in the second-half (it was 2-14 to 0-3 at the break) but this was a cakewalk.
“We’re not under any illusions” Ryan declared. “It wasn’t a difficult game. We’re delighted to win, delighted to get over the line and for those guys that came in, the fact that they kicked scores will give them confidence going into the next game.”
Scorers for Kildare: E O’Flaherty 2-5(1f); D Mulhall 0-7(2fs); C McNally 0-4; P Fogarty (1-0pen), A Tyrrell 1-1 each, C Tiernan 0-3; T Moolick, F Conway, S Hurley 0-1 each.
Scorers for Athlone IT: C Shine 0-6(4fs); C Fitzgerald, J Dolan 0-2 each; A Caul, P MacGahern 0-1 each
KILDARE: S Connolly, M O’Grady, M Foley, J Kinahan, C Tiernan, F Conway, P Cribbin, G White, T Moolick, A Tyrrell, E O’Flaherty, C McNally, D Mulhall, R Kelly, P Fogarty.
Subs: K Murnaghan for Cribbin (49), H McGrillen for Foley (53), M Conway for Tyrrell (53), S Hurley for Moolick (56), E Bolton for Tiernan (56), F Dowling for Kelly (61)
ATHLONE IT: G Connaughton, J Donoghue, J Cassidy, D O’Reilly, L Murphy, C O’Brien, T Mooney, S Quinn, C Shine, K Martin, A Caul, D Farley, C Fitzgerald, J Dolan, A Coffey.
Subs: E Kenny for O’Reilly (25), C Duggan for Martin (30), D Judge for Donoghue (39 – Black Card), P MacGahern for Quinn (57), G Tully for Mooney (59)
Referee: D Fahy (Longford).