Allianz FL D2: Goals crucial for Kildare
Allianz Football League Division Two
KILDARE 2-12 FERMANAGH 0-14
By Ger McNally at St Conleth's Park
Kildare began life under Jack OConnor with a hard fought win over Fermanagh in St Conleths Park but it was returning star Daniel Flynn who grabbed the headlines with a crucial second half goal to swing the game in Kildares favour.
Flynns goal came just after a spell of four points in a row for Fermanagh that turned a three point deficit into a one point lead in the 57th minute lead.
Kildare have struggled before against teams who are defensively well-organised and being behind heading into the last 10 minutes was the last place they wanted to be.
However, just a minute after Ultan Kelm had put Fermanagh ahead, the home side put together a move that involved a delightful pass by Paddy Brophy, some hard work by Shea Ryan and once Flynn got on the ball he finished with aplomb to give Kildare a lead they preserved until the final whistle.
Its a result that will leave Fermanagh felling slightly aggrieved as they played well throughout and frustrated Kildare for large spells. They could have made a dream start when Ciaran Corrigan rounded Mark Donnellan after five but once the ball was knocked from his hands he somehow how managed to smash the ball off the crossbar from just six yards with the goal gaping.
Kildare captain David Hyland showed him how its done at the far end just three minutes later when he was sent through on goal by Tommy Moolick and he calmly rounded James McGrath before scoring his first goal for his county.
Despite that early blow, Fermanagh stuck to their task and when Ryan Jones scored two points in a row they led by 0-6 to 1-2 in the 23rd minute.
Kildare then hit back with three points in a row before a 45 in injury time by Conall Jones left just a point between the teams at the break, 1-5 to 0-7.
Daragh McGurn quickly levelled up the scores early in the second half but three Neil Flynn points in a row put Kildare in charge.
However, that run of four points in a row put Fermanagh seemingly on course for an away win but timing of Flynns goal was crucial.
Kildare still had some nervy moments in the last ten minutes as they protected their lead but the two Flynns scored the last points of the game to see them home. Ryan Jones was sent off deep into injury time for an off the ball clash with Paul Cribbin.
Scorers for Kildare: Neil Flynn 0-7 6fs, Daniel Flynn 1-2 1m, David Hyland 1-0, Con Kavanagh 0-1, Paul Cribbin 0-1, Eoin Doyle 0-1.
Scorers for Fermanagh: Conall Jones 0-8 6s, 145, Ryan Jones 0-3, Daragh McGurn 0-2, Ultan Kelm 0-1.
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Peter Kelly, Mick OGrady, Liam Healy; Johnny Byrne,Con Kavanagh, Shea Ryan; David Hyland, cpt; Tommy Moolick; Neil Flynn, Paul Cribbin, Paddy Brophy; Jack Robinson, Daniel Flynn, Niall Kelly.
Subs: Kevin Flynn for Hyland 21, Eoin Doyle for Byrne HT, Keith Cribbin for N Kelly HT, Jimmy Hyland for J Robinson 54, Kevin Feely for Moolick 56.
FERMANAGH: James McGrath; Jonny Cassidy, Che Cullen, Kevin McDonnell; Declan McCusker, Richard O'Callaghan, Shane McGullion; Eoin Donnelly, Ryan Jones; Aidan Breen, Ultan Kelm, Ciaran Corrigan; Stephen McGullion, Conall Jones, Darragh McGurn.
Subs: Eoin Shiels for McDonnell 62, Kane Connor for McCusker 65, Garvan Jones for Stephen McCullion, Lorcan McStravick for O'Callaghan 702.
REFEREE: Fergal Kelly, Longford.