Galway secure second division place by sending Kildare down

Second-half goals from Fintan Ó Curraoin and Shane Walsh preserved Galway’s Division 2 status, and, in the process, condemned Kildare to the third tier.

Galway secure second division place by sending Kildare down

Galway 3-12 Kildare 1-12

By Eoghan Cormican, Tuam Stadium

Second-half goals from Fintan Ó Curraoin and Shane Walsh preserved Galway’s Division 2 status, and, in the process, condemned Kildare to the third tier.

Defeat for the Lilywhites this afternoon, their fifth of the league campaign, brought the curtain down on a forgettable spring for Jason Ryan’s side.

Kildare had made a positive start to the second period with three points on the hop from Eoghan O’Flaherty, Alan Smith and Daniel Flynn to reduce the gap to 1-10 to 0-10. Their revival effort was halted, however, on 47 minutes as Fiontan Ó Curraoin pounced for Galway’s second goal.

Shane Walsh’s sideline kick was flicked off the post by Damien Comer, the ball rebounded to Ó Curraoin and he buried.

The Tribesmen netted their third on 58 minutes, Shane Walsh registering his second. The score stemmed from a superb save at the other from ‘keeper Manus Breathnach to deny Cathal McNally.

Daniel Flynn booted home an injury-time goal for Kildare, but it proved too little, too late.

Galway were by far the dominant force in the opening half, returning to the dressing room with a six-point advantage. In truth, it could have been so much more – the home outfit squandering three goal chances.

Kildare goalkeeper Mark Donnellan produced superb saves to deny Sean Denvir and Shane Walsh, Patrick Sweeney kicking wide with no left to beat.

On 23 minutes, the net finally shook. Patrick Sweeney, Gary Sice and Peadar Óg O Griofa were at the centre of a flowing move that ended with a rasping Shane Walsh effort. The green flag moved Galway 1-6 to 0-6 clear and they moved further out of sight with points from O Griofa (two frees), Gary Sice and Conroy (free).

Kildare were sustained by an array on long-range beauties, midfield pair Gary White and Paul Cribbin kicking four fantastic points between them.

Scorers for Galway: S Walsh (2-1), F Ó Curraoin (1-1); P Óg O Griofa (0-4, 0-3 frees); P Conroy (0-3, 0-3 frees); M Breathnach (0-1 ’45), G Sice, P Sweeney (0-1 each).

Scorers for Kildare: D Flynn (1-1); G White, M Conway (0-2 frees), P Cribbin, A Smith (0-2 each); E O’Flaherty (0-1 free), E Callaghan (0-1 each).

Galway: M Breathnach; J Duane, F Hanley, C Sweeney; P Varley, G Bradshaw, G O’Donnell; F Ó Curraoin, P Conroy; G Sice, S Walsh, S Denvir; P Óg O Griofa, P Sweeney, M Lundy.

Subs: L Silke for Bradshaw (40 mins), D Comer for P Sweeney (45), A Varley for Comer (54), C Healy for O Griofa (59), E Hoare for Denvir (73)

Kildare: M Donnellan; O Lyons, C Fitzpatrick, M O’Grady; P Kelly, F Conway, E Bolton; G White, P Cribbin; K Cribbin, E O’Flaherty, F Dowling; E Callaghan, P Fogarty, A Smith.

Subs: D Hyland for Fitzpatrick (HT), D Flynn for Fogarty (HT), T Moolick for White (50), C McNally for Callaghan (55), M Conway for O’Flaherty (59), G Farrell for K Cribbin (68)

Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).

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