Dublin ended Kildare’s brilliant start to life in Division One of the Allianz National Football League, when they brought the newly promoted side crashing back to earth, with a very impressive display in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.
Dublin 2-20 Kildare 2-07
Before the game, both sides were unbeaten in the section and many pundits were predicting that this could finally be the year the Lilywhites win a Leinster title. However, on the evidence of today’s display, Dublin are still very much top dogs. Playing against a strong wind in the opening half, Dublin were guilty of missing some easy chances and the visitors established an early lead thanks to points from Seanie Johnston and Johnny Doyle. However, with Bernard Brogan coming more into the game, Dublin began to get on top and Brogan, Paddy Andrews and Diarmuid Connelly all contributed as the home side went 0-6 to 0-3 in front. With Dublin pressing ahead and looking to run riot, it took a goal from Johnston to keep Kildare in the hunt. At 0-11 to 1-6 at the break, the game was finely poised.
Kevin McManamon was introduced after the restart and he scored two quick points to stretch the home sides advantage. Paul Flynn, McCaffrey and Ciaran Kilkenny all found the target as the second half became even more one sided. On 46 minutes McCaffrey found the back of the Kildare net and the game was over as a contest. At 1-16 to 1-06 it was becoming an embarrassment for Kildare, and memories of last years All Ireland Quarter Final defeat to Cork must have come roaring back.
A goal from Bernard Brogan only added insult to injury and even a late strike from Emmet Bolton did little to improve the scoreboard for Kildare fans. This was a clinical performance from a Dublin team that are looking better and better as the league progresses. On the evidence of this display it will take a serious performance to stop them this season.