Cork made two changes to the team for the visit of Kildare to Pairc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday in Round 2 of the Allianz Football League with Michael Hurley and Mark Collins coming into the attack for Brian Hurley and Damien Gore. Both sides had draws in their opening contests in Division 2 so both teams went all out for the points on offer.
It started as a very cagey affair and while Michael Hurley had Cork in front it was Kildare that dominated possession. Fionn Dowling had the sides level in the 7th minute, but Cork edged in front again with a pointed free from Luke Connolly who had missed two earlier chances.
Kildare had the opening goal from the penalty spot as Ronan O’Toole fouled the forward and Kevin Feely converted to put the Lilly Whites in front for the first time. Cork responded well with Michael Hurley adding his second point as the game began to open up. Luke Connolly saw another free come back off the post and after an even enough opening quarter the sides were level as Rory Deane hit over a free for Cork to make it 0-4 to 1-1.
By half time Kildare had added a further three points, one from a free from Adam Tyrell and the second from midfielder Kevin Feely before Jimmy Hyland added a third, again from a free. Cork did pull a point back through Michael Hurley, who was their best forward in the opening half as Cork trailed by 1-4 to 0-5 at half time. It that second quarter Cork allowed Kildare plenty of possession as they operated with 15 men behind the ball. It was certainly not a pretty sight and on a pitch that cut up badly it was very poor showing.
On the resumption, both sides traded frees with Adan Tyrell and Luke Connolly on target. Paul Kerrigan had come on for Cork and Aaron Masterson for Kildare at half time as the game began to open up a little. Kildare then lost Fergal Conway who picked up a yellow and Black card in quick succession, leaving Kildare with 14 for the remainder of the half. Cork playing on the counter attack drew level with two fine points from Michael Hurley. Kevin Feely edged the visitors back in front as Sean White came on for Cork with Ronan O’Toole making way. Ben McCormack extended the Kildare lead but sub Sean White pulled one back for Cork as we edged towards the hour mark. Neil Flynn made it a two point game again, but Cork almost had a goal as Rory Deane saw his shot deflected onto the upright by Mark Donnellan in the Kildare goal.
It was all still to play for as Cork tried to up the tempo, but it was Kildare that left a goal between the sides with Ben McCormack knocking over a fine point. Kildare tried to keep possession late on with Neil Flynn knocking over a 45 leaving Cork with an uphill battle in the five minutes of time added on. Mark Collins did pull a point back for Cork but the goal they needed to earn a draw never looked like coming as Kildare defended well and held out to claim the two points on offer. Brian Hurley was red carded for Cork just on full time for an off the ball incident to make a bad day even worse.
The other results did help Cork as Tipperary drew with Fermanagh and Clare drew with Armagh, with leaders Donegal beating Meath so apart from Donegal with full points and Kildare with three points, all of the other counties remain in the mix with plenty of points still on offer. Again Cork have problems in attack and playing a defensive game will only get you so far. Last Sunday due to the condition of the pitch, Luke Connolly missed several free’s that he would normally get and those misses along with a few other long range wides meant that Cork even with the extra man were unable to undo the Kildare defence and so went down to their first defeat in the league.
Cork: M Hurley 0-5, L Connolly 0-2, R Deane, S White and M Collins 0-1 each.
Kildare: K Feely 1-2, A Tyrell 0-2, B McCormack 0-2, N Flynn 0-2, F Dowling and J Hyland 0-1 each.
Mark White; Kevin O’Donovan, Kevin Flahive, Conor Dennehy; James Loughrey, Stephen Cronin, Matthew Taylor; Ian Maguire, Ronan O’Toole, Tom Clancy, Eoghan McSweeney, Mark Collins, Michael Hurley, Ruairi Deane and Luke Connolly.
Paul Kerrigan for E McSweeney Ht,
Sean White for R O’Toole 48m,
Liam O’Donovan for J Loughrey 55m,
Brian Hurley for L Connolly 56m,
Cillian O’Hanlon for T Clancy 60m.
M Donnellan, M Dempsey, M O’Grady, D Hyland, J Murray, E Doyle, K Cribbin, K Feely, F Conway, C Hartley, F Dowling, A Tyrell, D Slattery, B McCormack and J Hyland.
A Masterson for C Hartley Ht,
N Flynn for F Dowling 45m,
C O’Donoghue for J Murray, 55m,
E O’Flaherty for A Tyrell 57m,
J Gibbons for J Hyland.
Referee: Sean Lonergan (Tipperary)