Sligo senior footballers go toe to toe with Kildare for deserved draw

Back 30/05/2023 @ 02:38 | mainnews | Sligo senior footballers go toe to toe with Kildare for deserved draw

 Sligo 0-14 Kildare 0-14 

Sligo’s senior footballers showed no signs of being overwhelmed by their second Division opponents in a deserved draw with Kildare in the opening round of this year’s All-Ireland series at Markievicz Park on Saturday.

Although the equalising scored came in the seventh minute of added time, it was no less that the men in black deserved having matched their opponents throughout the game and it may be that the home camp in time will reflect in this as a game they could have won.

It was a tight and well contested game and although both sides finished with players dismissed through either black or red cards, it was a contest devoid of rancour.

Kildare got the first score of the game in the third minute through a Paddy Woodgate free and the sides proceeded to swap scores through the opening quarter of the game before Niall Murphy, with his third point of the day, give his side a 0-4 to 0-3 lead with Sligo’s first consecutive point of the day.

Sean Carrabine, who would end up with four from play, had Sligo’s other point to that stage while Kevin Feely, from a mark, and centre back Kevin Flynn from distance had Kildare’s scores.

Opposing wing forwards Alex Beirne and Sligo’s hard-working Finnian Cawley then exchanged points before a burst of three successive Kildare efforts from Woodgate, Flynn and the full forward Darragh Kirwan, one of Kildare’s successes on the day, opened out a lead bigger than a point for the first time in the game as it reached the half hour mark.

Sligo’s Cawley however had the last word with a superb lofted point on the run from distance to leave the minimum between the side at the break.

On the resumption the home side quickly showed their intent to stay in the game with three consecutive scores of their own – two from Carrabine and one from Darragh Cummins to put them into a 0-9 to 0-7 lead.

Kildare replied twice through Beirne and a Woodgate ’45 to draw level after ten minutes of the half but Sligo regained the lead again, 0-10 to 0-9, when Niall Murphy pointed after good work by Paddy O’Connor in the 47th minute.

Murphy and Kirwan, and then Woodgate from a free and Carrabine had further scores for each to leave side level on 11 points each with 12 minutes to play poised of e a stirring.

Kildare however were in the ascendency and having gone two points up through Kirwan and midfielder Aaron Masterson, Sligo’s chance looked to be slipping away when the energetic and influential Carrabine was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Kildare wing back Jack Robinson, which Robinson himself converted to give his side a three point margin - the biggest of the day - with three minutes remaining in normal time .

Sligo though were not for giving up and led by captain Murphy they took the fight back to their opponents.

The Coolera man got one point back in a movement coming immediately off the kick out after Robinson’s point which left the margin at two which was still the case as five added minutes were called.

Sligo were throwing everything at the Kildare defence and with just a minute left, Murphy again found the target from  well outside about 60m with a booming swinging kick that reduced the margin to one.

The Sligo men were not to be denied however and despite the later stage of the game, they stayed patient before Nathan Mullen slipped in substitute David Quinn who spilt the post with a superbly finished score from the right on the run,

Kildare too finished with reduced numbers as first Darragh Kirwan for a second yellow and Kevin O'Callaghan for a black card were sent to the line  



Scorers for Sligo: Niall Murphy (0-6, 2f); Sean Carrabine (0-4); Finnian Cawley (0-2); Darragh Cummins (0-1); David Quinn (0-1)

Scorers for Kildare: Paddy Woodgate (0-4, 2f, 1 ‘45’); Darragh Kirwan (0-3); Kevin Flynn (0-2); Alex Beirne (0-2); Aaron Masterson (0-1); Ben McCormack (0-1, 1 ‘mark’); Jack Robinson (0-1, 1f) 

Sligo: A Devaney; E Lyons, E McGuinness, N Mullen; P McNamara, B Cox, L Towey; C Lally, P Kilcoyne; F Cawley, S Carrabine, D Cummins; A Reilly, P O’Connor, N Murphy 

Subs used: P Spillane for P O’Connor, 55; M Gordon for F Cawley, 62; K Cawley for D Cummins, 65; D Quinn for Lally, 66; M Walsh for O’Reilly, 70+4 

Kildare: M Donnellan; M O’Grady, S Ryan, E Doyle; D Hyland, K Flynn, J Sargent; K O’Callaghan, A Masterson; P McDermott, K Feely, A Beirne; P Cribbin, D Kirwan, P Woodgate 

Subs used: J Robinson for K Feely, 45; D Malone for P Cribbin, 53; T Archbold for P McDermott, 58; R Houlihan for J Sargent 70+1 

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)