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2023 Allianz Football League Division 2 – Kildare 3-10 Limerick 2-7

March 19, 2023 @ 3:45 pm - 5:45 pm

Kildare defeated Limerick by 3-10 to 2-7 in the Allianz Football League Division 2 on Sunday March 19th at the TUS Gaelic Grounds Limerick.

Match Highlights

Kildare end goal drought to relegate Limerick and Clare

Allianz FL Division 2

Kildare 3-10 Limerick 2-7

Report by Eoghan Cormican for the Irish Examiner newspaper

A result of great significance in Limerick. Victory for Kildare preserves the visitors’ Division 2 status. For Limerick, and neighbours Clare, they will play Division 3 football next spring.

For Limerick, this has been one long, forgettable spring. The Treatymen return to the third tier as quickly as they left it, overthrown manager Ray Dempsey among the collateral damage.

The result at the Ennis Road ground also spelled the end of Clare’s seven-year stay in the second division. Colm Collins’ charges could still finish level on points with Kildare should they win next weekend and the Lilywhites fall to Meath, but Kildare are safe by virtue of their superior head-to-head against the Banner.

After a drab, dull, and error-ridden opening half here, the fourth and final quarter was mightily entertaining and frantic stuff, even if the mistakes continued apace.

James Naughton’s 55th-minute Limerick goal brought the hosts back within three, 1-8 to 1-5. It was an inevitable green flag such was the frequency at which they were knocking on the door of Mark Donnellan’s goal. The openness of the Kildare defence that facilitated these chances was in marked contrast to an opening half where they were watertight at the back.

Jack Robinson replied with Kildare’s second goal two minutes later to shove the gap back out to six. But we were back to three 10 minutes further on, Cillian Fahy palming Robbie Bourke’s shot to the net. The scoreline now read 2-9 to 2-6.

As Limerick searched for the equalising goal during the five minutes of second-half stoppages, they left the door open at the back. Step forward Darragh Kirwan, the Kildare full-forward backheeling to the net on 74 minutes to secure Kildare’s second win of the League and outright safety.

Kildare were within reach of safe harbour at half-time. They led 1-6 to 0-4. It could – and should – have been more.

There was a goal chance at the beginning where Neil Flynn overcarried possession and another chance later in the half where Limerick ‘keeper Donal O’Sullivan did well to keep out Kirwan’s low-placed effort.

Five minutes before the second of those goal opportunities, Kildare secured a first competitive green flag since the Leinster final defeat to Dublin last May. Breaking their nine-and-a-half month goal drought was Kevin Flynn, the centre-back at the end of a neat move involving Kirwan and Paddy Woodgate.

Both of the latter pair were on the mark as the visitors raced four clear in the opening quarter of an hour. The first of Kirwan’s brace on 12 minutes emanated from a stray Hugh Bourke handpass at the other end. Misplaced passes were a constant of Limerick’s first half. Time and again possession was handed back to their opponents wrapped in a tidy red bow.

Limerick’s lateral and leisurely approach played into the hands of a Kildare side who were content to sit 15 men behind the ball and hold.

The hosts did not get off the mark until James Naughton’s 16th-minute free and did not score from play until Colm McSweeney’s 23rd-minute kick. McSweeney’s white flag was their sole from play in the opening 35 minutes, albeit Cillian Fahy collected and converted an impressive mark three minutes from the break.

Having waited almost 10 months for a green flag, it poured goals for Glenn Ryan’s charges on an afternoon where they desperately required them.

Scorers for Kildare: D Kirwan (1-3); K Robinson (0-1 free), K Flynn (1-1 each); D Hyland, B McCormack, P Woodgate (0-1 free), A Berine, N Flynn (0-1 each).

Scorers for Limerick: J Naughton (1-3, 0-2 frees); C Fahy (1-1, 0-1 mark); B Coleman, C McSweeney, B Donovan (0-1 each).

KILDARE: M Donnellan; M O’Grady, S Ryan, R Houlihan; D Hyland, K Flynn, J Sargent; A Masterson, K O’Callaghan; B Coffey, B McCormack, A Beirne; N Flynn, D Kirwan, P Woodgate.
Subs: D Flynn for McCormack (30 mins); J Robinson for N Flynn (51); P Cribbin for Beirne (55); E Doyle for Woodgate (72).

LIMERICK: D O’Sullivan; S O’Dea, M Donovan, B Fanning; B Coleman, C McSweeney, T McCarthy; C Downes, C Fahy; P Maher, J Naughton, C Sheehan; K Ryan, B Donovan, H Bourke.
Subs: A Enright for Ryan (35 mins); G Brown for McCarthy (HT); P Nash for Downes (44); R Bourke for Coleman (55); P McDermott for Coffey (63); D Lyons for Bourke (66).

Referee: J Ryan (Cork).

Traffic Information

Team News

Limerick (SF v Kildare): Donal O’Sullivan (Monaleen); Mike Donovan (Galbally), Sean O’Dea (Kilteely-Dromkeen), Brian Fanning (Pallasgreen); Barry Coleman (Rathkeale), Colm McSweeney (Gerald Griffins), Tony McCarthy (Kildimo-Pallaskenry); Cathal Downes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Cillian Fahy (Dromcollogher-Broadford); Paul Maher (Adare), James Naughton (St Senans), Cian Sheehan; (Newcastle West); Adrian Enright (Fr Caseys), Brian Donovan (Monaleen), Hugh Bourke (Adare).
Subs: Aaron O’Sullivan (Pallasgreen), Robbie Bourke (Adare), Gordon Brown (Na Piarsaigh), David Connolly (Adare), Fiachra Cotter (Fr Caseys), Tommy Griffin (Gerald Griffins), Jim Liston (Gerald Griffins), Davy Lyons (Adare), Peter Nash (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Killian Ryan (Mungret St Pauls), Cormac Woulfe (St Senans)

AFL: KILDARE v Limerick: Mark Donnellan; Mick O’Grady (captain), Shea Ryan, Ryan Houlihan; David Hyland, Kevin Flynn, Jack Sargent; Aaron Masterson, Kevin O’Callaghan; Barry Coffey, Ben McCormack, Alex Beirne; Jack Robinson, Darragh Kirwan, Paddy Woodgate.


March 19, 2023
3:45 pm - 5:45 pm


TUS Gaelic Grounds

GAA Units