It contributed to Dublin claiming a first O’Byrne Cup since 2008, and they were just about deserved winners, having seen Kildare dismantle their first-half six-point lead and take a one-point advantage going into second half injury-time before corner back Eoin Culligan forced extra-time.
Ryan was Wexford boss in the 2010 Leinster quarter-final when Dublin, having lost Denis Bastick and Ger Brennan to reds, were able to return to their full complement of 15 players in extra-time and went onto win the game.
Yesterday after Macauley was red carded for an off-the-ball incident involving Gary White four minutes into normal time injury-time, captain Bastick, who had already been subbed, returned to the fray.
Ryan didn’t pin the defeat on the rule but shrugged: “Well, I think yellow cards carry, but red cards don’t. It’s an unusual one. Look, I don’t make the decision. If you lose a player, you should be punished for losing a player.
“As it turned out there, Dublin were able to bring on a fresh pair of legs.”
As it appeared a straight red card despite Macauley being shown a yellow earlier, Jim Gavin may have to do without the midfielder for Sunday’s Allianz League Division 1 trip to Cork.
He defended his team’s discipline, having seen them pick up six yellow cards as well as Jonny Cooper’s 62nd-minute black card.
“I need to look back at the tape and how the referee viewed some of those black cards and some of the other cards that he gave us,” he said of referee David Gough. “But it was swings and roundabouts.”
Dublin led 0-20 to 0-19 at the turnaround in extra-time, subs Shane Carthy and Pádraig Fogarty each adding a brace. The following 10 minutes was all Dublin as they kept Kildare scoreless and added four points, Dean Rock contributing his ninth and 10th points of the afternoon between points from replacement Michael Deegan and man of the match Kevin McManamon. McManamon could even afford to miss a penalty he earned.
Gavin was slightly concerned about the effect of extra-time on his players ahead of Sunday. “I don’t think either of us would be happy. Jason and I had a quick chat at the final whistle, and we both said ‘that’s not ideal for next week, to be honest’. We both have fairly competitive games. We’ve used these games as part of our fitness programme, so we’ll just have to keep an eye on the load during the week and hopefully we’ll have fresh legs.”
Kildare went 16 minutes without scoring in the opening half. When they rediscovered their range, they kicked over four points on the bounce to reduce their arrears to two before Rock slotted over his fourth free of the half in injury-time. That gave Dublin a 0-10 to 0-7 interval advantage, constructed in no small way by their six points without reply between the 15th and 24th minutes. Before Eamonn Murphy boomed over a 31st minute free, Kildare looked dazed and confused by the visitors’ ability to transform from attack to defence and back again.
“It was a bit of a shock to the system in the first half,” said Ryan. “We haven’t faced anything like that intensity since Monaghan last summer.”
By the 57th minute, Kildare has restored parity and while Dublin regained their lead with four minutes to go, Darroch Mulhall and Fogarty converted scores to give the Lilywhites the initiative before Culligan’s leveller.
Allowing some of his heavyweights to play for their clubs yesterday, Gavin will cut his panel in the coming days. He believes he’s unearthed a couple of players in the O’Byrne Cup but a number will now make way. “They’ve all tried their hardest and I couldn’t fault the guys that will now leave the panel unfortunately and go back to the clubs. Their application, in the limited amount of time we’ve had in the training field, has been superb.”
Scorers for Kildare: D Mulhall (0-7, frees); E Callaghan, P Fogarty (0-3 each); E Murphy (frees), P O’Neill (0-2 each); F Dowling, G White (0-1 each).
Scorers for Dublin: D Rock (0-10, 8 frees, 1 45); K McManamon (0-4); T Brady (0-3); S Carthy (0-2); C Costello, J Cooper, E O’Gara, E Culligan, M Deegan (0-1 each).
KILDARE: M Donnellan; C Fitzpatrick, P Kelly, O Lyons; D O’Brien, M O’Grady, E Doyle; H Lynch, P O’Neill; K Murnaghan, E Callaghan, E Murphy; D Mulhall, T O’Connor, F Dowling.
Subs for Kildare: K Cribbin for E Doyle (44); G White for H Lynch (49); G Farrell for C Fitzpatrick (51); P Fogarty for E Murphy (55); S McNally for P Kelly (inj f-t); D Whyte for F Dowling (78); B Kinahan for M O’Grady (96); W Burke for K Murnaghan (90).
DUBLIN: S Currie; M Fitzsimons, R O’Carroll, E Culligan; N Devereux, J Small, J McCaffrey; D Bastick, E Ó Conghaile; T Brady, D Rock, N Scully; K McManamon, E O’Gara, C Costello.
Subs for Dublin: J Cooper for N Devereux (inj 13); S Carthy for N Scully, P Ryan for C Costello (both h-t); MD Macauley for D Bastick (47); D Daly for J McCaffrey (53); G Hannigan for J Cooper (black, 62); M Deegan for E O’Gara (e-t h-t); H Dawson for T Brady (88); N Collins for K McManamon (90).
Red card: MD Macauley (70+4).
Referee: D Gough (Meath).