Senior hurlers bow to table topping Kildare

Back 21/05/2022 @ 02:26 | hurlingnews | Senior hurlers bow to table topping Kildare

Sligo’s senior hurlers brought down the curtain on their intercounty season with a solid performance in their final Christy Ring Cup game against unbeaten Kildare in Newbridge on Saturday

With Kildare already qualified for the Christy Ring Cup and Sligo’s status in the competition guaranteed for next year, both sides were relaxed and played an open competitive game.

Sligo started the brightest with two early Andy Kilcullen points putting them too up in the first three minutes. The home side were quick to respond with points from Ross Kelly and Jack Sheridan equalising and when wing forward Mark Delaney got their first goal on eight minutes it gave them a lead they would never relinquish

They added points from four Brian Byrne frees along with points from Delaney, Conan Boran and Shane Ryan.

Gerard O'Kelly-Lynch and Kilcullen kept Sligo in the game on the scoreboard with six points between them before the half time break to go in seven points down 1-12 to 0-8.

In the second half Kildare picked up where they left off with points from Conor Kielty and Delaney but Sligo hit back when Conor Hannify found Thomas Cawley inside the full back line where he finished to the net to bring the gap back to five points.

After an exchange of points between Kilcullen and Kielty, Kildare pulled away again with points from Brian Byrne and three in a row from Sheridan,  

Sligo’s hopes took another blow when corner back Kevin O’Kennedy was blackcarded for denying a goalscoring opportunity but Kildare missed the resultant penalty which seemed to inspire Sligo who refused to give up

Andy Kilcullen grabbed a goal after a mix up in the Kildare defence and two quick points from Kilcullen and Finnian Cawley left four between the sides with seven minutes to play.

The numbers made a difference however over the final minutes and the fifteen men added 1-4 to close out a good nine point victory.

Kildare: Paddy McKenna; Niall O Muineachain, Tom Finnerty, Cathal Derivan; Jack Travers, Ross Kelly (0-1), Kevin Whelan; Conan Boran (0-1), Paul Dolan; Conor Kielty (0-2), Brian Byrne (0-7 5f 1'65), Mark Delaney (1-4); Pat Leahy, Jack Sheridan (0-4 1S/L), Shane Ryan (1-2)

Subs: Drew Costello (0-1) for Kelly 47, Cian Bracken for Leahy 47, Frank Bass (0-1) for Byrne 55, James Dolan for Boran 55, John Roche for Sheridan 57.

Sligo: Matt Davey; Niall Kilcullen, Niall Feehily, Kevin O'Kennedy; Gavin Connolly, Rory McHugh, Fionn Connolly; Finnian Cawley (0-1), Tony O'Kelly Lynch; Kevin Gilmartin, Gerard O' Kelly-Lynch (0-2), Conor Hannify; Joe McHugh, Andy Kilcullen 1-11 (9f), Thomas Cawley (1-0)

Subs: Liam O' Kelly-Lynch for Gilmartin B/S 30, Eoghan Rua McGowan for Niall Kilcullen H/T, Ronan Redmond for Fionn Connolly 69, Donal Forkin for Gavin Connolly 69.

REFEREE: Robbie Fitzsimons (Offaly).