/ GAA

Kildare 0-15 Kerry 2-15

Updated: Sunday, 16 Mar 2014 21:27 | Comments

Kerry's Mark Griffin and Tomas O'Connor of Kildare
Kerry's Mark Griffin and Tomas O'Connor of Kildare

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James O'Donoghue gave an attacking master class as Kerry overcame Kildare 2-15 to 0-15 to keep their Allianz National Football League title hopes alive.

All-Star O'Donoghue proved virtually unstoppable in Newbridge, kicking 1-5 as Kerry powered to just their second win of the campaign.

The result keeps them firmly in the hunt for a semi-final spot with ties against Westmeath and neighbours Cork remaining.

Eamon Fitzmaurice's side built on their big win over Tyrone in Round 4 to account for the Lillywhites comfortably.

The result means Kildare have now lost four of their five games and are battling relegation under new manager Jason Ryan.

Kildare started well and moved three clear after eight minutes in an exciting opening half.

Paddy Brophy laid down an early marker on his marker Marc O Se with a neat point from the right wing to open the scoring.

The corner-forward would score all of his three-point tally off the veteran Kingdom defender by half-time.

The problem for Kildare was that the ball spent little time in their own forward line.

Kerry enjoyed far more possession at the other end of the field where Stephen O'Brien and O'Donoghue were dominant.

O'Brien went through three different Kildare defenders in the first-half with Kevin Murnaghan, Keith Cribbin and Fergal Conway all on him at different stages.

O'Brien's second point moved Kerry 0-7 to 0-6 ahead in the 23rd minute. Bryan Sheehan doubled their advantage with a great free from the left wing before their opening goal.

It was a fine goal that owed everything to O'Donoghue's industry as he chipped cleverly across the goals for Paul Geaney to fist in.

They should have had a second goal but were denied a penalty for an apparent black card offence on O'Brien.

The Kingdom still led 1-9 to 0-6 after half an hour following a point from wing-back Paul Murphy.

Any ball that did reach the Kildare forwards was efficiently used though and three Kildare points before half-time left the Kingdom just 1-10 to 0-9 ahead.

But Kerry essentially secured victory with a strong third quarter that was lit up by the excellence of O'Donoghue.

He added 1-2 to his haul in the opening 20 minutes of the second-half.

His 54th minute goal was a beauty as he deceived a Kildare back with a solo dummy before firing low across goals with his right boot.

The strike put Kerry nine clear and though Kildare rallied late on with points from sub Mikey Conway, Tom O'Connor and Darroch Mulhall they couldn't conjure a goal.

Kerry: B Kelly, M O'Se, M Griffin, S Enright, P Crowley, F Fitzgerald, P Murphy (0-01), A Maher, D Moran, D Walsh, B Sheehan (0-02, 2f), D Casey (0-03), S O'Brien (0-02), P Geaney (1-01), J O'Donoghue (1-05, 1f).

Subs: K O'Leary for Walsh, J Lyne (0-01) for Casey, BJ Keane for Geaney, J Buckley for Sheehan, Darran O'Sullivan for O'Brien, A O'Mahony for Enright

Kildare: S Connolly; M O'Grady, M Foley, K Murnaghan (0-01); P Cribbin (0-01), F Conway, K Cribbin; T Moolick, G White; C McNally (0-01), E O'Flaherty (0-02, 1f), S Hurley (0-02), D Mulhall (0-02), T O'Connor (0-01), P Brophy (0-03).

Subs: P Fogarty (0-01) for P Cribbin, D Hyland for K Cribbin, J Gately for McNally, P O'Neill for Fogarty, M Conway (0-01) for White, H McGrillen for O'Flaherty.

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).

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