A late rally from The Wee County wasn’t enough to see off Kildare at St. Conleth’s Park, Newbridge, last Saturday afternoon.
The Kildare victory looked to be practically done and dusted after some twenty minutes with the home side leading 2-6 to 0-2 and while the result was probably never in doubt, nevertheless Louth are to be commended for refusing to throw in the towel as they battled on, scoring two second half goals and getting within five points of Kildare.
Paddy Brophy opened for Kildare after just four minutes, however Louth hit back immediately playing some good football to take the lead with points from Robert Quigley and Stephen Kilcoyne. Indeed Louth carved out a real goal chance on eight when Kilcoyne was free right in front of goal but hit a terrible shot wide of the post.
Upped the ante
Kildare upped the ante immediately and a lovely ball by centre back David Hyland was fielded by Paddy Brophy. The no. 14 and captain, turned and made no mistake filling the sack.
Two Shane O’Flynn points stretched the lead before Brophy set up Neil Flynn for a point to make it 1-5 to 0-2 after 16 minutes.
A brilliant move that involved Mark Sherry and David Duke ended with Brophy getting his second goal of the game and when wing back Ryan Houlihan got forward down the right wing and popped one over it looked early curtains for the visitors who found themselves trailing 2-6 to 0-2 after a mere nineteen minutes.
A Robert Quigley pointed free and a point from play by Stephen Quigley reduced the deficit but it was Kildare who ended the half best with points from Niall Kelly and a Wayne Fitzpatrick free after Ryan Houlihan was fouled which saw Louth full back, Kieran Lenehan getting a yellow card.
The half time score read Kildare 2-8 Louth 0-4.
Louth needed a real good start to the second half but in fact it was the very opposite that occurred with Kildare quickly adding three points from Brophy, Niall Kelly and Brophy again.
Louth hit back with a goal out of practically nothing, Cian Doyle getting inside his marker to find Shane McQuillan’s net on 35 minutes.
Kildare had lot their influential full back, Shane O’Hagan with a suspected hamstring problem and there is no doubt his presence was missed.
Robert Quigley added a point before Kildare hit back with two white flags from Neil Flynn and Wayne Fitzpatrick to leave 2-13 to 1-5.
Louth, who never at any stage gave up the fight, raised their game again and with points from Kilcoyne and Doyle left nine separating them.
Kildare were losing their shape somewhat with defenders anxious to get forward they were leaving gaps at the back which Louth were only too happy to exploit.
Mid-way through the half and Louth found the Kildare net again. This time Cian Doyle with a cheeky effort when lobbing Kildare keeper Heaney to reduce the game to six and when wing back, Darren Marks got forward to split the posts the lead was now down to five.
However it was the home side who finished the stronger as they tacked on three points from Niall Kelly (2) and a Wayne Fitzpatrick free to close out the game on a score line of 2-16 to 2-8.
Louth’s best were Robert Quigley and Stephen Kilcoyne while Cian Doyle did well as did Eoghan Lafferty.