Kildare fight back to defeat Mayo
Updated: Saturday, 16 Mar 2013 22:10
All-Ireland finalists Mayo face a relegation battle after blowing the lead in Castlebar to lose to Kildare 1-11 to 0-13.
James Horan's men led 0-6 to 0-0 after 19 minutes despite playing against the breeze,
Yet they still trailed by a point at the interval and never managed to get ahead in the second-half.
Kildare, beaten by Dublin last weekend, seemed poised for another set-back after they failed to make use of the breeze in the opening quarter.
And they would have been further adrift had Mayo made the most of the chances they created but James Horan's men were wasteful throughout and in the end shot 14 wides.
They will look back at this game and wonder what might have been but in the end they were handed a lesson by Kildare in how to win a match.
Kildare did not score until the 19th minute when Niall Kelly found the range but they still led by 1-5 to 0-7 at the break after Johnny Doyle set up wing-back Eoin Doyle for a fisted goal after half an hour.
Seanie Johnston chipped in with three points to give Kieran McGeeney's men an unlikely interval advantage.
Mayo levelled shortly after the restart thanks to an Evan Regan free but they never managed to hit the front again in the game.
Efforts from Paddy Brophy and Niall Kelly saw Kildare lead by 1-9 to 0-9 after 54 minutes.
Jason Doherty and centre-back Tom Cunniffe got the margin down to a point with 12 minutes remaining.
But that was close as Mayo managed to get and Kildare edged two points in front two minutes from the end when Eoghan O'Flaherty pointed superbly from the right.
Cillian O'Connor gave Mayo hope with his second pointed free in the dying moments but they never looked like getting an equaliser and in the end paid the price for their own wastefullness.
Mayo: D Clarke; C Barrett, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, T Cunniffe 0-1, C Boyle 0-2; B Moran, S O’Shea; K McLoughlin 0-1 (f), A O’Shea, C Carolan 0-2; E Regan 0-3 (2f), J Doherty 0-2 (1f), M Conroy.
Subs: C O’Connor 0-2 (2f) for Regan 54, R Feeney for Carolan 57, E Varley for Conroy 60, J Gibbons for A O’Shea 64.
Kildare: M Donnellan; O Lyons, M Foley, H McGrillen; E Bolton, P Kelly, E Doyle 1-0; H Lynch, P O’Neill; D Flynn 0-1, N Kelly 0-2, M O’Flaherty; S Johnston 0-4 (1f), P Brophy 0-1, J Doyle 0-1 (f).
Subs: F Dowling 0-1 for J Doyle 52, D Hyland for Bolton 55, E O’Flaherty 0-1 for M O’Flaherty 61, T O’Connor for Johnston 69.
Referee: M Higgins (Fermanagh).