Lillies strike late to blossom in Cork
Updated: Saturday, 09 Feb 2013 22:10
Late goals from substitutes Niall Kelly and Paddy Brophy helped Kildare defeat hosts Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn in Division 1 of the Allianz League.
With less than 10 minutes left, the Rebels held onto the narrow lead that they had possessed since Ciarán Sheehan’s early goal, but Kelly and Brophy, both minors last year, swung the game in the Lilywhites’ favour.
Half-back Mikey Conway kicked 0-04 for Kildare, while Colm O’Neill scored 0-03 for Cork who had Damien Cahalane sent off early in the second half.
The result leaves Cork, league 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.
A quick blast of 1-02 - 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 1-05 to 0-06 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, 1-09 to 0-09, 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 ball 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 weekend, and they showed good composure in the face of Cork pressure before O’Neill broke and hand-passed to the unmarked Brophy, who made no mistake to put a gloss on the scoreline.
Scorers: Cork: C O’Neill 0-03 (0-02f), C Sheehan 1-00, D O’Connor (0-02f), P Kerrigan 0-02 each, A Walsh, J O’Rourke 0-01 each
Kildare: M Conway 0-04 (0-02f), N Kelly, P Brophy 1-00 each, S Johnston, P O’Neill 0-02 each, D Flynn, J Doyle (0-01f) 0-01 each
CORK: K O’Halloran; E Cadogan, E O’Mahony, M Shields; D Cahalane, T Clancy (Clonakilty), J O’Sullivan; G Canty, A Walsh; F Goold, J O’Rourke, C Sheehan; C O’Neill, D O’Connor, P Kerrigan.
Subs used: A O’Connor for T Clancy (Clonakilty) (half-time), T Clancy (Fermoy) for Sheehan (54 mins), P O’Neill for Goold (61), P Kissane for Walsh (62).
KILDARE: S Connolly; H McGrillen, M Foley, P Kelly; M Conway, O Lyons, E Bolton; G White, P O’Neill; D Flynn, C McNally, B Flanagan; E O’Flaherty, S Johnston, J Doyle.
Subs used: N Kelly for McNally, T O’Connor for O’Flaherty (both half-time), E Doyle for Lyons (50 mins), M O’Flaherty for Flanagan (54), P Brophy for Johnston (58).
Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)