/ GAA

Kildare 2-07 Dublin 2-20

Updated: Sunday, 10 Mar 2013 23:11 | Comments

Tempers flare off the ball in the second half Diarmuid Connolly of Dublin holds off Kildare's Emmet Bolton
Tempers flare off the ball in the second half Diarmuid Connolly of Dublin holds off Kildare's Emmet Bolton

Man-of-the-match Jack McCaffrey and Bernard Brogan both netted as Dublin completely dismantled Kildare 2-20 to 2-07 in this Allianz Football League Division 1 tie at Croke Park.

Jim Gavin’s men scored the first half’s final four points as they took a 0-11 to 1-06 lead into the break despite playing against the wind.

The Lilywhites endured a scoreless 29-minute spell until goal scorer Seanie Johnston pointed a free.

Dublin coasted home with Bernard Brogan (1-05) and the impressive Ciaran Kilkenny (0-04) and McCaffrey (1-01) leading the rout.

The Dubs provided a constant supply of possession from their dominant midfield, particularly in a wind-backed second period, with Kildare simply unable to cope.

The result is a rude awakening for Kieran McGeeney’s side who, like Dublin, had opened their league campaign with three successive wins.

Their off-day at GAA headquarters coincided with Dublin’s best display yet under new manager Gavin, but he will not be getting carried away as a tough test lies ahead against Tyrone next Saturday.

The Dubs faced into a stiff wind in the opening half, a purposeful run from wing back McCaffrey earning an early free which Brogan stuck over.

With Mikey Conway and captain Emmet Bolton joining the attack, Kildare swept into a sixth minute lead with Eoghan O’Flaherty lobbing over from the left and Johnston pointing smartly on the turn.

A tussle between Bolton and Dublin skipper Diarmuid Connolly got the blood pumping, but as the tempo increased the Leinster champions were guilty of some poor turnovers in possession.

Johnny Doyle converted a free for a 0-03 to 0-01 scoreline, however Kildare were struggling to win kick-outs and Dublin dominated up to the 20-minute mark.

Brogan added his second free, another McCaffrey burst forward led to Paddy Andrews scoring and Connolly pointed with a solid strike from distance.

Kildare were doing a good job in negating Brogan’s influence in open play, Ollie Lyons tracking his every move, but a third Brogan free and a right-footed effort from Kilkenny gave the Dubs a 0-06 to 0-03 advantage.

The Lilywhites were sparked back into life by Johnston’s goal. Former Ipswich Town soccer goalkeeper Shane Supple lost control of a long delivery in towards Tomas O’Connor, and Johnston was perfectly placed to scoop the loose ball home.

McGeeney’s charges countered very effectively at time with a Conway free cancelling out Connolly’s second point of the day.

Then a great move started in defence by Hugh McGrillen, which included a lovely reverse pass from Eoin Doyle, put Bolton in space for a memorable score.

Brogan then fluffed his lines when a kickable free came back off the right hand post. Moments later, he coughed up possession and Kildare broke at pace, setting up Brian Flanagan to make it 1-06 to 0-07.

But Dublin came to the fore again approaching half-time, using their fluid movement and crisper passing to create chance after chance.

Neat passes from Kilkenny and Brogan gave defender Darren Daly the space to score and an Andrews point from the right had the sides level - 0-09 to 1-06.

Andrew blew a glorious goal-scoring opportunity at the Hill 16 end, throwing a loose hand-pass when a shot was the best option.

The Dubs pressed on with Brogan landing his fourth pointed free and Kilkenny followed up with one of the strangest scores seen at Croke Park for some time.

In a moment which is destined to turn up on YouTube, he tried his luck with a shot from distance, it held up in the wind and the Castleknock youngster rushed in to gather the dropping ball and split the posts from closer in.

Kevin McManamon wasted little time in making his presence felt in the second half, the half-time substitute pointing twice in the first two attacks.

With Dublin continuing to hoover up Shane Connolly’s kick-outs, they stormed clear on the scoreboard with Paul Flynn and the excellent McCaffrey finding their range.

Brogan turned past marker Lyons to get his first sight of goal, but net minder Shane Connolly deflected the corner forward’s shot out for a ‘45’ which Diarmuid Connolly failed to convert.

The Kildare defence parted once more, allowing Brogan to fire a second shot goalwards but it was straight at Connolly who blocked it away.

Brogan provided the assist for Kilkenny’s third point. That increasingly likely goal arrived in the 46th minute, Kilkenny involved in the build-up as McCaffrey slipped a cool finish past Connolly and into the far bottom right corner of the net.

The wind-backed Dubs were now out of sight at 1-16 to 1-06 and Kildare simply had no answer.

Andrews clipped over a superb point from the right and Kilkenny landed his fourth before being called ashore, having played for the county’s Under-21s in midweek.

Johnston finally replied for Kildare with a 57th minute free. Three minutes later, two Kildare defenders went for the same ball and it broke for Brogan to nudge a lot shot under the diving Connolly for Dublin’s second goal.

The margin was out to 16 points after Brogan notched his only point from play and substitute Philly Ryan flung over a fine score from a tight angle on the left.

With their unbeaten run well and truly ended, Kildare still gained some late consolation through Bolton’s 68th-minute goal, the defender squeezing a low shot in past Supple and the covering Ciaran O’Sullivan.

Dublin scorers: Bernard Brogan 1-05 (0-04f), Ciaran Kilkenny 0-04, Jack McCaffrey 1-01, Paddy Andrews 0-03, Diarmuid Connolly, Kevin McManamon 0-02 each, Darren Daly, Paul Flynn, Philly Ryan 0-01 each

Kildare scorers: Seanie Johnston 1-02 (0-01f), Emmet Bolton 1-01, Eoghan O’Flaherty, Johnny Doyle (0-01f), Mikey Conway (0-01f), Brian Flanagan 0-01 each

Dublin: Shane Supple; Kevin O’Brien, Rory O’Carroll, Jonny Cooper; Darren Daly, Cian O’Sullivan, Jack McCaffrey; Declan O’Mahony, Michael Darragh Macauley; Paul Flynn, Ciaran Kilkenny, Ciaran Reddin; Paddy Andrews, Diarmuid Connolly (capt), Bernard Brogan.

Subs used: Denis Bastick for Macauley, Kevin McManamon for Reddin (both half-time), Bryan Cullen for Kilkenny (53 mins), Chris Guckian for McCaffrey (57), Philly Ryan for O’Mahony (61).

Kildare: Shane Connolly; Peter Kelly, Mick Foley, Hugh McGrillen; Emmet Bolton (capt), Mikey Conway, Eoin Doyle; Ollie Lyons, Padraig O'Neill; Brian Flanagan, Cathal McNally, Eoghan O’Flaherty; Seanie Johnston, Tomas O'Connor, Johnny Doyle.

Subs used: Morgan O’Flaherty for Conway (27 mins), Hugh Lynch for McNally (39), Daniel Flynn for Flanagan (42), Eamonn Callaghan for O’Neill (50) Ronan Sweeney for O'Connor (57).

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)

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