Kildare 1-16 Tipperary 0-8
NFL DIVISION 2
A depleted Kildare put last weekend’s chastening defeat to Down behind them with a comfortable victory over 14-man Tipperary at a sparsely attended Semple Stadium tonight.
Kieran McGeeney was without seven front line players through suspension and injury, and will be worried about further knocks picked up by Hugh McGrillen and Anthony Rainbow that necessitated their substitutions during the game.
The evergreen Rainbow impressed in an unusual role at centre-forward, while Ken Donnelly did his cause no harm for a more regular starting role and James Kavanagh finished with an eight-point haul.
Midfielder Daryl Flynn was the most influential figure on the field however, displaying tremendous fielding skills to go with a keen work ethic.
Donnelly struck the net in the sixth minute, having been placed expertly by Mark Scanlon, to give Kildare an early four-point lead and it was an advantage they held until half time.
Conor Sweeney and Barry Grogan did get on the score sheet for the home side but Kavanagh tagged on three points of his own to give Kildare a 1-5 to 0-4 interval lead.
Kavanagh, Karl Ennis and Padraig O’Neill kept the scoreboard ticking over after the resumption and when Tipp midfielder Hugh Coghlan was sent off in the 50th minute after an off-the-ball incident involving Flynn, it was curtains for the home side.
Both sides emptied their benches as the result became inevitable. Tipp replacement, Stephen Hahessy did kick two fine points from play but it was all Kildare, with Flynn covering every blade of grass on the field.
O’Neill brought his tally to three with a beauty with the outside of his right boot and Dermot Earley produced the loudest cheer of the night courtesy of a wonderful point on the run from 40m.
The defeat leaves Tipperary facing a tough battle to retain their newfound Division 2 status already, while Kildare will hope to build on this morale-boosting win to make a stab at promotion to the top tier.
Kildare: S McCormack; A Mac Lochlainn, H McGrillen, E Bolton; M Foley, B Flanagan, M Scanlon; D Flynn, D Earley 0-1; D Whyte, A Rainbow, P O’Neill 0-3; K Ennis 0-4(3fs), J Kavanagh 0-8(5fs), K Donnelly 1-0. Subs: D Hendy for McGrillen inj (32); R Sweeney for Rainbow inj (46); H Lynch for White (60); D Lyons for Bolton (65)
Tipperary: M O’Donnell; C Morrissey, P Codd, C McDonald; R Costigan, N Curran, C Aylward; G Hannigan, H Coghlan; J Cagney 0-1, S Grogan P Acheson; C Sweeney 0-3(2fs), P Austin, B Grogan 0-2(1f). Subs: B Mulvhill for Cagney (40); B Coen for S Grogan (47); A Rockett for Austin (53); S Hahessy 0-2 for B Grogan (61); C McGrath for Codd (66)
Referee: A Mangan (Kerry)