Kildare finally find shooting boots

Cavan 0-14, Kildare 2-13

Kildare opened their Division 2 account thanks, in part, to a helping hand from their hosts.

Cavan assisted their opponents along the way by giving away cheap goals and playing with a man less for 40 minutes.

Pointless going into this fourth-round match, Kildare looked like a team on a mission, but it was a crucial four-minute spell in the first half which formed the springboard for their eventual victory.

Eoghan O’Flaherty goaled in the 15th minute after Cavan keeper Gilsenan saved Fionn Dowling’s penalty with his legs. Then the Blues’ Damien O’Reilly saw red after an off-the-ball incident with Emmet Bolton in the 19th minute.

In an all-action tie, Cavan almost conceded a second goal in the 21st minute but Fearghal Flanagan robbed Daniel Flynn just as the latter was about to pull the trigger.

Two minutes later, Cavan were unlucky when galloping corner-back Killian Brady saw his shot for goal blocked near the goal-line by opposite number Mick O’Grady.

Kildare had the momentum with the wind at their backs as they sought to overturn 14-man Cavan’s 0-8 to 1-4 interval lead.

After some early sparring, in-form Kildare midfielder Paul Cribbin showed the way round Cavan’s blanket defence by splitting the posts from 44 metres in inspirational fashion.

Cribbin’s exocet gained parity for his side (0-9 to 1-6) only for his team-mate David Hyland to get his marching orders just four minutes after being introduced to the fray.

Despite conceding three points in a row, Kildare held firm ‘till Daniel Flynn’s goal (69) sealed the deal.

Kildare boss Jason Ryan was a relieved but proud manager after the game:

“The lads showed great character to hold out towards the end of the game and I thought our game management in the last 10 minutes was far better than it has been.”

Scorers for Cavan: N McDermott 0-6f, G McKiernan 0-3, D McVeety 0-1, M Reilly 0-3 (0-2f, ’45); C Mackey 0-1.

Scorers for Kildare:

E O’Flaherty 1-4 (0-2f), D Flynn 1-1, N Kelly, E Callaghan, P Cribbin 0-2 each; O Lyons, F Dowling 0-1 each.

Subs for Cavan: M Argue for K Clarke (inj, 26); C Moynagh for K Brady (blood sub 36); P Smith for D McVeety (49); J Brady for C Mackey (54); M McKeever for T Corr (63); K Brady for C Moynagh (64).

Subs for Kildare: G White for H Lynch (inj, 13); C Fitzpatrick for P O’Neill (28, B.C); P Fogarty for N Kelly (49); D Hyland for M O’Grady (56, B.C)

Ref: C Reilly (Meath).

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