By Deniese O’Flaherty
It was all the threes for Kildare as they made it three wins out of three in Division 3 with a seven point win against a dogged Longford side.
Longford competed well but Kildare were sharper and clinical in front of the posts with goals in either half proving to be the difference. They grabbed their first goal in the 18th minute through Eoghan O’Flaherty and sealed the win with a second six minutes from the end from substitute Tommy Moolick.
Longford will rue missed chances with Michael Quinn forcing a save out of Kildare keeper Mark Donnellan in the first half and then the netminder saved Mark Hughes spot-kick near the end after Liam Connerton was hauled down in the square.
The home side started well and registered the first point of the game through Hughes. Kevin Feely replied for Kildare but points from Diarmuid Masterson and Liam Connerton gave them a two point lead in the 17th minute. The Lilywhites replied with a goal from O’Flaherty that put them ahead for the first time in the game; it was a lead they weren’t going to relinquish.
A nice point from Barry McKeon in the 31st minute brought Longford to within two of Kildare but Cian O’Neill’s side ended the half well to give themselves a five point lead at the break; 1-07 to 0-05.
Longford squandered early chances in the second half before Brian Kavanagh scored their first free for them and he followed that up with another pointed free. Although they kept with Kildare Longford could only cut the gap to three points at numerous stages in the second half.
Tommy Moolick got Kildare’s second goal in the 64th minute. Longford had a chance to grab a goal near the end but Mark Donnellan saved a Mark Hughes penalty.
Scorers: – Kildare: E O’Flaherty 1-2 (f), T Moolick 1-0, F Dowling, N Kelly (f) 0-3 each, K Feely, C McNally, A Smith 0-1 each. Longford: B Kavanagh (2f), M Hughes 0-2 each, D Masterson, B McKeon, R Smyth, L Connerton, F McGee (f), B Farrell 0-1 each.
Kildare: M Donnellan; P Kelly (E Powderley 67), D Hyland, O Lyons; C O’Donoghue, F Conway, E Bolton (J Byrne 48); D Flynn, K Feeley; C McNally (K Murnaghan 63), N Kelly, E O’Flaherty; F Dowling (T Moorlick 58), P O’Neill (A Smith ht), E Callaghan (M Byrne 52).
Longford: P Collum (C Garvey 70+5); D Brady, B Gilleran, P McGee; D McElligott, M Quinn, D Reynolds (R Connor 56); M Brady, D Masterson (CP Smyth 27); D Gallagher (J McGivney 45), B Kavanagh (B Farrell 56), B McKeon; R Smyth (F McGee 46), L Connerton, M Hughes.
Referee: Niall Ward (Westmeath)