Jason Ryan is pleased to have another game before the commencement of the league but wants his side to be more clinical against Dublin in next week’s Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup final.
Kildare had 12 points in hand but spurned four good goal-scoring chances in the second half, through a combination of over-elaboration and some committed last-ditch defending.
“It gives us something we need to work on,” said Ryan. “It hasn’t been a major priority in training but over the next few weeks, it will become more and more important for us to be clinical when we turn over possession and when we attack. At the end of the year, people aren’t going to be talking about the O’Byrne Cup. The big thing for us is the national league and then the championship.
“The players felt the best preparation for Down and Meath in our first two national league games was to have as extended a run in the O’Byrne Cup as possible and I suppose we are very different to this time last year.
“This time last year the team that played in the O’Byrne Cup had to be the team that started the championship because that was all that was fit and ready whereas now we have a lot more players available.”
The hosts thundered out of the blocks with the first six points of the game inside nine minutes and the result was never in doubt from then on. Eoghan O’Flaherty hit 1-4 and he got the scoring under way with an early free. Gary White, Eamon Murphy, O’Flaherty, Padraig Fogarty and Hugh Lynch added to tally. Conor Madden was DIT’s prime contributor with six points and he got the students off the mark from a free after 10 minutes. That launched a mini-revival and when Shane Dowling finished well for their fourth point in the 25th minute, the deficit was still only five. Seamus Hanafin scored a brilliant goal in the 29th minute, showing tremendous bravery to gather an inch-perfect 30m kick-pass from O’Flaherty and then having the composure to find the DIT net with a low shot.
That helped make it 1-11 to 0-5 at half-time and though Madden had two points not long after the resumption, it was all over when O’Flaherty found the net in the 43rd minute with a deflected shot.
Scorers for Kildare: E O’Flaherty 1-4 (0-1f); P Fogarty 0-4; S Hanafin 1-0; E Murphy (1 45), F Dowling (1f) 0-2 each; G White, G Farrell, H Lynch 0-1 each
Scorers for DIT: C Madden 0-6 (4fs); P Brogan, S Dowling, C Ferris (45) 0-1 each
KILDARE: T Corley, O Lyons, P Kelly, M O’Grady, G Farrell, E Doyle, C O’Shea, G White, H Lynch, K Murnaghan, E O’Flaherty, E Murphy, F Dowling, S Hanafin, P Fogarty. Subs: J O’Connor for Doyle (49), S McNally for Lyons (55), D Whyte for Lynch (58), C Bolton for Dowling (59), J Robinson for Corley (65), B Kinihan for Farrell (65)
DIT: C Ferris (Dublin), O Manning (Dublin), B Power (Meath), S Clayton (Dublin), S Dowling (Meath), A Waters (Dublin), D O’Reilly (Dublin), C Reddin (Dublin), R Gaughan (Dublin), E Fletcher (Dublin), A Martin (Dublin), B McMahon (Meath), P Brogan (Dublin), C Madden (Cavan), E Flanagan (Cavan).
Subs: G Gallagher (Dublin) for Flanagan (ht), G O’Reilly (Dublin) for Dowling (54), D Shatwell (Dublin) for Gaughan (61), I McDonald (Wicklow) for Brogan (61), C Doyle (Dublin) for Manning (63), C Ryan (Dublin) for Power (65)
Referee: D Gough (Meath).