All-Ireland SFC quarter-final: Kingdom win big but crash out

August 04, 2018

Kerry's Stephen O'Brien races by Kildare's Johnny Byrne ©INPHO/James Crombie

Kerry are out of this year's championship despite defeating 13-man Kildare by 3-25 to 2-16 at Fitzgerald Stadium.

With 17,935 in attendance at Killarney, Eamonn Fitzmaurice's men did what they had to do as they prevailed by twelve points, but Monaghan's eight-point victory over Galway in Salthill means they have not snatched a semi-final place. Instead, they finish third in Group One of the Super 8s, while Kildare are bottom of the group following three defeats.

David Clifford's last-gasp goal against the Farney County in Clones 13 days ago gave the Munster champions a chance of progressing and the Fossa youngster was outstanding again tonight, netting the winners' first two goals and slotting five points.  

The losers produced a superb first-half performance to lead by 1-12 to 1-8 at the break, but they'd had their goalscorer and talisman Neil Flynn dismissed two minutes from the interval and also lost David Hyland to a black card. Kerry were very poor in the opening period.

Paul Cribbin pointed first for the visitors and Micheal Burns replied before Flynn fired the Lilywhites back in front on six minutes and Tommy Moolick was on hand to quickly double the difference, 0-3 to 0-1.

Kieran Donaghy's point was cancelled out by Peter Kelly and the hosts were rattled when Cribbin pinged over his second point - an excellent strike from distance - on 14 minutes to make it 0-5 to 0-2. Burns had the Kingdom back within two by the 15-minute mark and Paddy Brophy replied to a David Moran effort as the underdogs maintained a two-point cushion moving into the second quarter.

Cribbin's third left three between them again and Kevin Flynn made it double scores with 15 minutes left before the break, 0-8 to 0-4.

Clifford then stood up to be counted and lofted over a point before netting a 23rd-minute penalty to tie the scores up, following up with another point - 1-6 to 0-8 as the Munster champions led for the first time courtesy of a 1-2 salvo from their teenage sensation.

Neil Flynn equalised again from a '45' and followed up with a goal, hammering home after getting on the end of an excellent Chris Healy pass. A Flynn free and Cribbin's fourth and fifth suddenly had Cian O'Neill's charges six points clear - 1-12 to 1-6.

The Lilywhites were cruising but the momentum swung against them in a major way when Neil Flynn was controversially shown a red card two minutes from the break.

Kildare's luckless first half - having conceded a dubious penalty and shipped a contentious red card - was compounded when full back Hyland left the fray with a black card after Sean O'Shea (free) and Clifford pulled back a couple for the Kingdom to reduce their arrears to four heading into the second half.

That man Clifford fired his second goal in the first minute of the second half following a Mark Donnellan error to close the gap to the minimum and Paul Geaney equalised two minutes after the restart. O'Shea popped over a free after Kevin Feely had edged the 14 men back in front; Jack Barry had Kerry back in front within five minutes of the restart, 2-11 to 1-13. The winners would now reel off an uninterrupted 1-8...

As the Kildare resistance crumbled, half-time substitute James O'Donoghue hit the third Kerry point on 45 minutes after Stephen O'Brien notched the hosts' twelfth point. Clifford pointed to make it 3-13 to 1-13 and Kevin McCarthy left seven points between them.

O'Donoghue's point had the Munster champions eight clear with 20 minutes left and Jack Barry tagged on another as the visitors began to fade out of contention. O'Shea banged over a free with 16 minutes remaining as the margin went out to ten and Feely pulled back a point for the visitors who were praying for the final whistle at this stage…

Tadhg Morley boosted the Kingdom's scoring difference further and O'Shea's '45' ensured that they led by eleven with an hour played. Another O'Shea '45' cancelled out a Johnny Byrne effort

Feely pulled back a free four minutes from the end and O'Donoghue replied before Barry kept the Kerry tally moving. Kildare were down to 13 men when Mick O'Grady picked up a late red card and Clifford's point two minutes into injury time had the winners 14 clear

Cribbin notched a late goal for the luckless losers and it was fitting that Clifford had the final say - as he tends to do in most games. Alas, Kerry knew it was all for nothing as word filtered through of the Farney County's facile win in Salthill.

Kerry - B Kelly; J Foley, P Crowley, T O'Sullivan; P Murphy, K Young, G White; D Moran (0-1), J Barry (0-3); M Burns (0-2), S O'Shea (0-5, 3f, 2'45), S O'Brien (0-1); D Clifford (2-6, 1-0pen, 0-1f), K Donaghy (0-1), P Geaney (0-2, 1f). Subs: K McCarthy (0-1) for K Young, J O'Donoghue (1-2) for K Donaghy, D O'Sullivan for M Burns, T Morley (0-1) for J Foley, A Maher for S O'Shea, B O Beaglaioch for G White.

Kildare - M Donnellan; P Kelly (0-1), D Hyland, M O'Grady; J Byrne (0-1), E Doyle, K Flynn (0-1); K Feely (0-3f), T Moolick (0-1); F Conway, P Cribbin (1-5), K Cribbin; N Flynn (1-3, 0-1f, 0-1'45), N Kelly (0-1), P Brophy. Subs: C Healy for K Cribbin, J Murray for D Hyland (BC), C McNally for M O'Grady, E Callaghan for F Conway, F Dowling for T Moolick, M Hyland for P Kelly.

Referee - D O'Mahoney.

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