Third defeat in four games for Derry

11-03-2012'Kildare's Eamonn Callaghan tries to get past Brian Mcallion of Derry in the Allianz National Football League division 1B game at St Conleth's Park, Newbridge.'Photo: Adrian Melia
11-03-2012'Kildare's Eamonn Callaghan tries to get past Brian Mcallion of Derry in the Allianz National Football League division 1B game at St Conleth's Park, Newbridge.'Photo: Adrian Melia
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Kildare 2-13 Derry 2-8

DERRY’S frustrating season continued at Newbridge on Sunday when they went under to Kildare by a five point margin. It was not so mush the defeat that annoyed Derry but more the decision of referee Martin Higgins to award Kildare what looked a fortunate penalty and deny Cailean O’Boyle one at the other end when he was clearly held.

However it was a bad start to the second half that cost Derry dear. They were in a good enough position at half time trailing by just 0-8 to 0-6 and the home side went on to hit a further 1-3 without replay to leave Derry with a mountain to climb. However that dubious penalty was converted by Johnny Doyle for their gaol in this period.

Trailing by 1-11 to 0-6 the Oak Leaf men showed great resolve to cut the gap back to a point with ten minutes remaining but an Alan Smith goal killed the come back and Derry were left to ponder what might have been had those two penalty decisions rightfully gone their way.

Martin Higgins was the man in the middle who sent of James Conway in the Dr. McKenna Cup final at a stage when Derry were in a five point lead. That decision was reversed on appeal.

With Meath away next Sunday followed by games against Westmeath (away) and Louth (home) Derry are now in a relegation dogfight but if they get a turn of luck they should finish mid table.

PJ McCloskey and Michael Friel did well in the midfield area for Derry but the attack could have made better use of some of the chances that came their way. It was ironic that it was a block on a Paddy Bradley effort that saw Kildare counter and Alan Smith score what proved to be the killer goal for Derry.

Kildare as usual had strong home support at Newbridge and Derry had the small number of regulars that follow then to away games. The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for 34 year old local hero Dermot Early who came on in the last five minutes after 19 months out with a serious knee injury. To the delight of the home fans he scored the last point of the game.

Overall it was a decent enough display by Derry and they can look forward to better days particularly when quality players like Gerard O’Kane, Eoin Bradley, Dermot McBride and Michael Bateson are fit again.

Kildare scorers John Doyle 1-3. Eoghan O’Flaherty 0-4, Alan Smith 1-0, James Kavanagh 0-2, Morgan O’Falherty, Padraig O’Neill Mickey Conway and Dermot Early 0-1 each

Derry scorers Conleth Gilligan 0-4, Paddy Bradley 0-3, Sean Leo McGoldrick and Cailean O’Boyle 1-0 each and Enda Lynn 0-1.

Kildare S. Connolly, E. Bolton, P. Kelly, O. Lyons, M, O’Flaherty, M. Foley, H. McGrillen, D. Flynn, P. O’Neill, E. Callaghan, E. O’Flaherty, J. Doyle, M. Conway, T. O’Connor J. Kavanagh. Subs A. Smith for Conway, D. Early for O’Connor and K. Ennis for Callaghan

Derry. B. Gillis, B. McCallion, C. McKaigue, A. McAlynn, M. Craig, C. Kielt, S.L. McGoldrick, PJ McCloskey, M. Friel, N Forrester, B. Gormley, B. McGoldrick, E. Lynn, P. Bradley, C. Gilligan. Subs C. O’Boyle for Forreter, Patsy Bradley for Gormley, E. McGuckin for Lynn and E. McGuckin for Kielt.

Referee M. Higgins Fermanagh