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11th Mar 2018

Relegation beckons and Kildare don’t deserve anything else

Niall McIntyre

Relegation is all but confirmed for Kildare now.

The Lilywhites’ footballers have had a disastrous League campaign. They’ve played five games and they’ve lost five of them and can have no real complaints or grievances about that.

Because, in reality, despite Cian O’Neill’s men showing well on occasions, these flashes have been way too few and far between and it happens way too often that they disappear in games for long periods. Crucial periods.

They often claw their way back into these games, just like we saw in their loss a fortnight ago against Donegal when they scored a few goals but that was when the pressure was off and they were already beaten.

They don’t seem to have the leadership to stem the tide when things are going against them. They don’t seem to know how to react when a couple of things go wrong for them.

Kildare have played well at times in this League campaign. Okay, against Dublin first time out in Croker, they could be excused for being off-beat because Jim Gavin’s men are operating on a different level to everybody else in the football sphere.

But take their narrow one point loss to Tyrone in Newbridge. Kildare were much the better team on that day but after five minutes seeking a winning score, Tyrone went down the other end and nabbed it.

At the crucial juncture, they weren’t able to come up with the answers.

The thing is, though, that this type of thing is happening way too often to Kildare. Take their one point loss to Monaghan at the same venue. Again, they had the opportunities, they had the chances but they just weren’t able to take them.

Now, barring some freak results next weekend they will be relegated to division 2 and deservedly so. That is a huge blow for a team like Kildare, who will now go into the Leinster championship with little confidence.

On Sunday, the Lilywhites were defeated by seven points against Mayo. Mayo have been similarly poor in this League campaign, but they showed more when it came down to it here.

They were down by five at half-time. They never gave themselves a chance. It was perhaps the most worrying of all of their displays to date because they never looked like competing, never looked like raising a gallop.

Aidan O’Shea strode over them, so did Cillian O’Connor. Mayo did what they wanted at their ease.

There appears to be something of a soft centre in this Kildare team. And they need to solve it fairly lively.

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Kildare GAA