Kavanagh kickstarts Kildare blitz
Kildare Westmeath 3-23 1-12
KILDARE SHOWED Westmeath no mercy at St Conleth’s Park yesterday. Denis Glennon was the visitors’ lone threat but from the time James Kavanagh netted in the 18th minute for Kildare, there was never any likelihood their promotion ambitions might be derailed.
“It is a good way to win a game” said Kildare manager, Kieran Mcgeeney. “Westmeath were a bit weak. They lost two or three of their players (Gary Connaughton, Kieran Gavin and Michael Ennis) before the game, as did we with Leper ( Eamonn Callaghan) and Daryl (Flynn) . . . In fairness to the fellas, I thought they moved the ball quite sharply apart from the first seven or eight minutes.”
Westmeath were competitive in the early exchanges, Ronan Foley getting them a second-minute lead but found themselves falling 13 points in arrears, as Kildare embarked on a scoring blitz. Kavanagh and Mikey Conway added delightful points but Westmeath got a lifeline when Kieran Martin was tripped in the square and Derek Brazil awarded a penalty. David Glennon sent Shane Connolly the wrong way and it was 1-13 to 1-4 at half-time.
Denis Glennon added a couple of points from play early in the second half, prompting Kildare to move Ollie Lyons on to him. That was as good as it got for Pat Flanagan’s men though, as Kildare continued to rack up the points while creating goal opportunities.
Emmet Bolton took a lay-off from O’connor to grab goal number two in the 44th minute, before Kavanagh brilliantly hit his second in clinical style. KILDARE: S Connolly; O Lyons, P Kelly, M O’flaherty; E Bolton (1-1), H Mcgrillen, B Flanagan (0-1); M Foley, P O’neill (0-2); J Doyle (0-1), M Conway (0-6, three frees), E O’flaherty (0-5, three frees, two 45s); A Smith (0-3), T O’connor (0-1), J Kavanagh (2-2). Subs: R Sweeney for O’neill (53 mins); P Fogarty (0-1) for Doyle (55 mins); D Earley for Foley (55 mins); G White for M O’flaherty (60 mins); K Ennis for Bolton (64 mins). WESTMEATH: D Quinn; K Maguire, M Curley, P Sharry; D Mcdermott, A Finnan, B Moran; P Bannon, J Heslin (0-3, frees); R Foley (0-1), G Egan, C Mccormack; K Martin (0-1), Denis Glennon (0-7, five frees), David Glennon (1-0, pen). Subs: D Gavin for Mcdermott (49 mins); K Sheridan for Moran (55 mins); M Gorman for Mccormack (59 mins); A Giles for Egan (67 mins). Referee: D Brazil (Offaly).