A poor second half performance saw Wicklow lose to Kildare by 0-07 points in the Leinster Senior football Championship preliminary qualifier at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise.
Kildare assisted by the wind in the first half, went in with a narrow one point lead as they amassed ten wides in the first 35 minutes, the half time score 0-5 to 0-4.
Pre match rumours that John Doyle would start in the middle proved to be true and the former All Star turned in a strong performance, dominating in defence and attack and it was the 34 year old who opened the scoring on 4minutes and he doubled that minutes later with a free.
Gary White, with a 45, Alan Smith and Hugh Lynch all added points while Seanie Furlong, who had a penalty claim, turned down and Austin O’Malley, scored the points for Mick O’Dwyer’s side with former Mayo man O’Malley looking lively.
Despite the low scoring, the sides were rarely level with Kildare never allowing the Garden County to get ahead.
Wicklow would have been encouraged by the first half performance and with the wind in their favour would have fancied an upset for the second half, however the shock never materialised as it was 4 minutes into added time before they scored their only score of the second half.
Instead it was Kildare who took control of the game and scored 7 unanswered points in the second with Alan Smith with two, Tomas O’Connor, Doyle with two, Emmett Bolton and sub Padraig Fogarty getting on the score sheet.
The score’s aside there was little in the way of action with the departure of referee Martin Duffy with a muscle pull one of the highlights. Duffy was replaced by Syl Doyle and less than 10 minutes later he made his first big decision of the day when he deservedly sent off O’Malley for an elbow Andrew MacLochlainn.
In the Kildare just had too much in the bag for Wicklow it was comfortable in the end for Kieren McGeeney’s men who now meet Meath in the quarter final.
Sportsnewsireland will have live score updates on all GAA Championship matches over the summer.