Doyle penalty levels it in injury time for Kildare

Galway 0-18 Kildare 2-12, Tuam Stadium

Galway 0-18 Kildare 2-12, Tuam Stadium

Johnny Doyle held his nerve to slot home an injury-time penalty which earned promotion for his Kildare side and a shot at the Division 2 title.

Doyle’s effort denied Galway a place in Division 1 for next season, as the Lilywhites snaffled a late draw in front of a 4,733-strong crowd in Salthill.

Kildare were 1-9 to 0-8 to the good at the interval, aided by defender Emmet Bolton’s 26th-minute goal and Alan Smith’s haul of four points from play.

There were runs of four successive points for both sides in a tight first half. Paul Conroy had kicked Galway ahead but Bolton and Smith got Kieran McGeeney's men level and Doyle again squared things up in the 17th minute, with the sides locked together at 0-6 apiece.

Bolton's fisted goal, which was set up by a free-flowing break involving Tomas O'Connor, James Kavanagh and Padraig O'Neill, was effectively the difference at the turnaround.

Mark Hehir, who scored three points in all, responded for Galway before the half-time whistle. Michael Martin, Damien Burke and Garreth Bradshaw had raised white flags for Alan Mulholland's westerners before that.

It was nip and tuck at the start of the second half but Galway, playing into the wind, raised their game considerably with points from goalkeeper Adrian Faherty (‘45’), Greg Higgins and Hehir reducing the margin to the minimum.

Padraic Joyce made quite an impact with two points and fellow substitute Danny Cummins also found the target to move the Tribesmen into a 0-15 to 1-10 lead.

They would have had a goal of their own but from a very good save from Kildare stopper Shane Connolly who denied Bradshaw, and Conroy also miscued a goal attempt after a defensive slip from Hugh McGrillen.

Joyce scored again soon after to edge his side ever closer to a promotion-clinching win, roared on by the home support.

However, there was a sting in the tail for Galway. Points from Dermot Earley - ending a barren spell for the visitors - and James Kavanagh cut the gap to two before Gary Sice fisted over at the other end.

All of Galway's good work was undone though when Doyle's penalty levelled the game for Kildare in the fourth minute of injury-time and secured that prized second place finish.

Referee Eddie Kinsella awarded the penalty after he adjudged that Bolton had been brought down by Galway corner back Kieran McGrath, Doyle's resulting kick sent Faherty the wrong way and set up a Kildare-Tyrone Division 2 decider.

Scorers - Galway: M Hehir (0-2f), P Joyce (0-1f), P Conroy 0-3 each, G Sice, A Faherty (0-2 '45') 0-2 each, D Cummins, G Bradshaw, G Higgins, D Burke, M Martin (0-1f) 0-1 each

Kildare: A Smith 0-4, E Bolton, J Doyle (1-0 pen) 1-1 each, J Kavanagh 0-3, M Conway, D Earley, E O'Flaherty (0-1f) 0-1 each

GALWAY: A Faherty; C Forde, F Hanley, K McGrath; G Bradshaw, D Blake, G O'Donnell; J Bergin, G Higgins; G Sice, D Burke, N Joyce; M Martin, P Conroy, M Hehir.

Subs used: K Kelly for Forde, T Flynn for Martin (both half-time), P Joyce for Hehir (51 mins), D Cummins for N Joyce (54), N Coleman for Higgins (69).

KILDARE: S Connolly; O Lyons, H McGrillen, P Kelly; E Bolton, B Flanagan, M O'Flaherty; M Foley, T O'Connor; E O'Flaherty, M Conway, J Doyle; A Smith, P O'Neill, J Kavanagh.

Subs used: D Flynn for McGrillen (46 mins), E Doyle for Flanagan (55), D Earley for O'Connor (61), P Fogarty for O'Neill (66),

Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Laois).

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