The sides will face off this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena.
Down v Kildare – Preview, Team News & Live score commentary
Updated: July 13, 2014
We have team news and live score commentary as Down v Kildare; Páirc Esler, Newry, 14:00 GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship 2014 ROUND 2B
Down put the disappointment of their Ulster Championship exit at the hands of Tyrone behind them with a comfortable 4-18 to 0-09 demolition of Leitrim. Conor Laverty (2-4) and Donal O’Hare (0-4) showed class in that win, and will hope to add to their combined Championship tally of 2-16. It is hard to gage how much of a test Leitrim were, while six players survive from the 2010 All-Ireland semi-final defeat of Kildare in 2010. Niall Donnelly and Ciaran McCartan who made their Championship debut against Leitrim will hope to add to their good performances in that game
After disposing of Louth in their Leinster Championship quarter-final, they fell to Meath in the semi-final. The victory was far more comfortable then the five-point scoreline, 2-16 to 0-17 suggests with Meath taking their foot of the gas in the second-half, allowing Kildare back into the game. The Kildare backline were left exposed with the attacking mindset of the half-backs but looked dangerous at times in attack.
Duel of the game
Ollie Lyons v Donal O’Hare
Donal O’Hare has been one of the Mourne men’s most consistent players and it will again fall on the Burren man to provide the class to continue their backdoor run. His free taking ability should be key while he look to take advantage of any slackness in the Kildare defense. If O’Hare is on form he will lift the rest of the Down attack and he should come out on top.
Ollie Lyons was perhaps the only shining light in their defeat to Meath with the corner back back to his best after he dislocated his collar bone last season. Lyons was a rock when all around him were crumbling around him. He will need to be at his best to stop O’Hare and he and his defensive partners will need to keep fouls to a minimum if they are to have a chance at the other end.
Kildare make two changes from the side that lost to Meath in the Leinster semi-final with Ciaran Fitzpatrick coming in at corner back with Gary White starting at centre field instead of Sean Hurley. James McCartan has named an unchanged side with Benny McArdle still absent through injury.
Down: Michael Cunningham; Daniel McCartan, Niall Donnelly, Darren O’Hagan; Ciaran McCartan, Conor Garvey, Kevin McKernan; Dan Gordon, Peter Turley; Brendan Coulter, Conor Maginn, Mark Poland; Donal O’Hare, Niall Madine, Conor Laverty.
Kildare: Mark Donnellan; Ciaran Fitzpatrick, Hugh McGrillen, Ollie Lyons; Emmet Bolton, Fergal Conway, Keith Cribbin; Tommy Moolick, Gary White; Cathal McNally, Niall Kelly, Padraig O’Neill; Eamonn Callaghan, Padraig Fogarty, Paddy Brophy
Down will have too much class with O’Hare and Laverty. Both are consistently good for McCartan’s men and if they have the added bonus of Brendan Coulter, Mark Poland and Niall Madine on form, Down will book their place in the next qualifying round. Kildare haven’t showed enough this year to give the Lilywhite followers hope that they can upset the Mourne men in their own back yard. Down will want to lay down a marker as they continue to try and put the toothless defeat to Tyrone behind them. Down by two.