Kildare 2-10 Cork 1-9
Kildare made it two wins from two in the Allianz Football League Division 1 as late goals from subs Niall Kelly and Paddy Brophy earned them a win over Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn tonight.
Despite having being reduced to 14 men following Damien Cahalane’s red card five minutes into the second half, Cork still possessed a two-point lead, 1-9 to 0-10, with nine minutes left before Kelly profited from Tomás O’Connor’s hard work to finish past Ken O’Halloran.
Then, with time running out, Cork attacked in search of something from the game, but they were caught on the break when impressive midfielder Pádraig O’Neill broke clear and set up Brophy for a close-range finish.
The result leaves Cork, champions for the past three seasons, pointless while Kildare have carried their O’Byrne Cup-winning form into the league and can look forward to the three-week break contentedly.
Until Cahalane’s sending-off, however, Cork looked likelier winners, despite never really hitting the heights.
In the first half, the home side often found it difficult to break through Kildare’s massed defence, but when they did find space they made the most of it, as a quick blast of 1-2, points from Donncha O’Connor and Colm O’Neill followed by Ciarán Sheehan’s goal, put them ahead after Seánie Johnston had been prominent early on for Kildare.
Had O’Connor not wasted another good goal chance shortly after that, Cork would have been in a very comfortable position, but O’Neill and Mikey Conway points kept Kildare in it while Cathal McNally shot just wide when presented with a goal chance shortly before half-time.
Cork led by 1-5 to 0-6 at the break and a big Aidan Walsh effort just after the restart put them further ahead, but Daniel Flynn pulled one back for Kildare before Cahalane saw red for an alleged stamp on Kelly.
Kildare did not make immediate use of the extra man, and though Conway kicked two efforts from distance, one a free, Donncha O’Connor and John O’Rourke put Cork a goal in front, 1-9 to 0-9, with 11 minutes on the clock.
They would not score again, however, while in contrast Kildare found another gear. O’Neill’s second point of the game was a precursor to what was to follow, O’Connor snaffling the break when Brophy’s point attempt took a deflection and then setting up Kelly to slide the past to the net for the lead for the first time since the 18th minute.
Kildare sensed another statement victory to go with the win against Donegal last week, and they showed good composure in the face of Cork pressure before O’Neill broke and handpassed to the unmarked Brophy, who made no mistake to put a gloss on the scoreline.