KILDARE 1-25, ANTRIM 0-14
Two of Kildare’s brightest attacking prospects team up to annihilate Antrim.
Kildare responded to their 15-point Leinster semi-final loss to Dublin by beating Antrim on the double.
The Saffron county managed 14 points in their All-Ireland Qualifier Round 2 encounter, in Belfast, but Kildare were inspired by two of their best attackers.
Cian O’Neill’s men showed no lingering hangovers from their Leinster loss to the Dubs and became the first county in the pot for the next round of the qualifiers with their 14-point triumph.
Fergal Conway got the Lilywhites’ goal, in the second half, after some slick passing from Neil Flynn and Jimmy Hyland but O’Neill will be most enthused by the vibrant performances from Hyland and Adam Tyrrell.Jimmy Hyland of Kildare in action against Niall Delargy of Antrim during the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Round 2 match at Corrigan Park in Belfast. (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)
Hyland was the Under 21 Player of the Year but looked to be struggling at senior level after a stretch of difficult games in the league and championship. Against Antrim, he was a handful and he scored 0-3 from play as well as teeing up the goal and winning frees in scoring positions.
Tyrrell and Flynn shared the free-taking duties and the Moorefield forward dolloped over four of his while pointing another three from play in a 0-7 scoring return.
Army duties in the Lebanon impacted on Tyrrell’s inter-county commitments in 2017 and 2018 but he has had a good run of it this year and Kildare are the main beneficiaries.
Kildare went three clear after a fast start before Antrim responded with a couple of their own. It was 0-4 to 0-3 after 13 minutes but the game all changed after Hyland came on for the black-carded Chris Healy. The visitors went on a run of scoring four consecutive points from play and, just before half-time, Hyland got in on the scoring act.
It was 0-13 to 0-6 at half-time and when the Conway goal arrived, five minutes into the second half, it was effectively game over. With Hyland, Tyrrell, Kevin Feely and Flynn (0-8) all keeping the scoreboard ticking over, there was no respite for the Ulstermen.