Ka­vanagh kick­starts Kil­dare blitz

Kil­dare West­meath 3-23 1-12

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - National Hurling League Gaelic Games -

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).

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