Kildare too good for doomed Fermanagh

Fermanagh 1-8 Kildare 0-16, Brewster Park

Fermanagh 1-8 Kildare 0-16, Brewster Park

Allianz NFL Division 2 pacesetters Kildare sealed Fermanagh's relegation to Division 3 as they pulled clear of the Ernsiders in the second half at Brewster Park.

A poor quality first half ended 0-4 to 0-3 in Kildare's favour, after points from Eamon Callaghan, Robert Kelly and John Doyle (two frees).

Playing into the wind, Kieran McGeeney's side took a 0-2 to 0-0 lead with Callaghan and Kelly both on target.

The hosts hit two wides in the opening 8 minutes, in front of a small crowd, but they got off the mark three minutes later through Eamon Maguire.

Ciaran McElroy hit a brace of points but an injury ended his outing, on the half-hour mark, and an altogether forgettable first half can be summed up by the fact that there were 31 frees awarded in the opening

35 minutes.

The weather conditions improved for the second period and thankfully, so did the football.

Maguire and Daryl Keenan did their best to keep Fermanagh in touch, but Kildare upped the intensity and found their rhythm in attack - with Doyle, Ken Donnelly, Callaghan, Padraig O'Neill, Kelly and Ronan Sweeney steering the visitors into a 0-12 to 0-7 lead.

Keenan and then substitute Pat Cadden, who smacked home a 56th-minute goal off a post, slashed Kildare's lead to just two points.

Ultimately, Kildare had it in them to raise their game when required and pressed into action late on, further points from O'Neill, Donnelly and substitute Michael Hartnett put the game beyond Fermanagh's reach.

Speaking afterwards, Fermanagh boss Malachy O'Rourke said: "It is very disappointing as we worked hard to get into Division 2. Actually we worked just as hard this year and a lot of games were very close but we came up short.

"It would have been nice to have had a crack at Division 2 with a full complement of players but we have been missing a lot of men.

"Now we have got to get our heads down and make sure we are ready for the first round of the Championship.

"We have given game time at a high level to a lot of players. You learn a lot about guys in adversity."

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