Kildare are very much still in the promotion mix after they fought off a late Tipperary challenge to claim victory in Division 2 of the Allianz National Football league.

Kildare dominated for large periods of the game, and with a Fergal Conway goal they certainly looked in control, but Tipperary rallied with goals from Dan O’Meara and Liam Boland bringing the sides level entering stoppage time.

Points from Adam Tyrrell and Neil Flynn eventually settled the contest though and ensured the home side of safety ahead of a trip to Donegal next weekend.

Tipperary on the other hand were second best for the majority of the game and they must win their final game if they are to avoid relegation.

Tipperary got a big boost before the throw-in with star forward Michael Quinlivan named to start after missing out on the entire campaign thus far due to injury.

It was a rather forgettable opening to the contest with only two points kicked from play in the opening quarter.

Kildare did look bright when they kicked two points in the opening four minutes with a Neil Flynn free getting things rolling before Tommy Moolick kicked a lovely effort from play off the outside of his right foot.

Tipperary got on the board in the ninth minute with a Liam McGrath free but it was a rare attack as Kildare dominated the ball for the vast majority of the half.

The next ten minutes was average stuff at best as both sides were guilty of squandering scoreable chances while even the basics were letting the teams down.

Kildare eventually broke the barren period with a Kevin Feely score from play and Neil Flynn then kicked two quickfire points to leave Kildare with a four-point lead.

Tipperary responded with a point from Liam Casey but it was Kildare who ended the half the better as they hit 1-2 on the trot.

Tipperary were bringing a lot of bodies back but after great patience Kildare eventually broke the line to get a goal with Peter Kelly playing a ball behind the Tipperary defence and Fergal Conway latched onto it to place a shot past Evan Comerford.

That gave Kildare a rather comfortable 1-05 to 0-02 lead and they kicked two further points with both Feely and Jimmy Hyland on target to give Cian O’Neill’s men an eight-point advantage at the interval.

Cian O'Neill

The tempo was slow to increase for the second period with neither team really getting their game going, with only three points scored by the halfway mark of the half.

Chris Healy was making his first appearance of the year after being club tied with Two Mile House and he kicked a lovely score from near the sideline in the opening play of the half before it was quickly cancelled out by a free from Conor Sweeney.

Neil Flynn then pushed the lead back out to nine points with a good point from out wide after selling his man an audacious dummy to work space for himself.

Sweeney quickly hit back with a free which was followed by an incident that rather summed up the game when Adam Tyrrell kicked a brilliant ball into Neil Flynn and while the Maynooth man took the mark he somehow kicked his shot wide from straight in front of the goal.

Tipp then got a bit of momentum going with Sweeney kicking his third free of the half and the Premier County got even more inspiration when sub Liam Boland rattled a shot into the top corner in the 60th minute after Michael Quinlivan had originally saw a shot parried by Mark Donnellan.

Kevin Flynn who was an all-star nominee for Kildare in 2018 made his return from injury in the final few minutes but Kildare struggled to get anything going as Tipperary poured on the pressure.

The visitors got their second goal to get back within a point when Dan O’Meara forced a shot past Mark Donnellan after Kevin Feely had earlier given away possession.

The teams were then level with a Brian Fox score in the last minute.

To their credit though Kildare dug extremely deep to get the desired result with Adam Tyrrell kicking a monstrous point from distance before Neil Flynn added a 45.

Liam Boland scored a point in response with the last kick of the game as Kildare hung on to secure a crucial victory and maintain safety in Division 2 for 2020.

Kildare: Mark Donnellan; David Hyland, Mick O’Grady, Mark Hyland, Cian O’Donoghue, Eoin Doyle, Peter Kelly, Kevin Feely (0-02), Tommy Moolick (0-01), Fergal Conway (1-00), Paddy Brophy, Keith Cribbin, Neil Flynn (0-05, 0-02fs, 0-01 45), Chris Healy (0-01), Jimmy Hyland (0-01).

Subs: Adam Tyrrell (0-01) for Cribbin 47 mins, Kevin Flynn for Healy 56 mins, Fionn Dowling for Brophy 57 mins, James Murray for O’Donoghue 64 mins, Aaron Masterson for Conway 68 mins,

Tipperary: Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Emmet Moloney, Colm O’Shaughnessy, Daire Brennan, Jimmy Feehan, Steven O’Brien, Liam Casey (0-01), Michael Quinlivan, Liam McGrath (0-01), Brian Fox (0-01), Phillip Austin, Conor Sweeney (0-03), Jack Kennedy.

Subs: Paul Maher for Austin 50 mins, Liam Boland (1-01) for Casey 58 mins, Paudie Feehan for J.Feehan 61 mins, Dan O’Meara (1-00) for Moloney 64 mins

Ref: Noel Mooney