GAA

Incredible Scenes As Superb Kildare Dump Mayo Out Of The Championship

Incredible Scenes As Superb Kildare Dump Mayo Out Of The Championship

A dramatic saga got its deserving ultimate conclusion. Home advantage proved beneficial and Kildare march forward on the cusp of a remarkable wave. The perennial survivors Mayo have been knocked out of the Championship in the qualifiers on a scoreline of 0-21 to 0-19.

It was a late point from substitute Eamonn Callaghan that provided the insurance, as he romped down the left flank and struck a sweet score. It pushed Kildare three clear and ensured Mayo had to go for broke in the dying minutes of the game.

It was a disappointing end for Mayo, who despite four points from wing back Paddy Durcan endured a crucial period of 10 scoreless minutes until Moran's late free and saw Aidan O’Shea sent off at the death.

On Sky Sports, Peter Canavan hailed the changes O'Neill made during the game, Jim McGuinness praised their training ground kick-out work, but his work started long before then. Overall it was a stirring performance by a team struggling for form. Kildare lost every game in Divison one of the Allianz League and were beaten in their opening Leinster Championship game against Carlow. However, Cian O'Neill never panicked and emerges triumphant. He refused to budge in the face of the GAA and the might of Mayo and now has his day in the sun.

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Kildare's ability to make use of possession and kick scores from range was a dramatic change for a side so wasteful against Carlow.  Kevin Feely and Paul Cribbin were outstanding around the middle but overall it was a superb team performance, with ten different scorers in total.

O'Neill has had his fair share of critics but is deserving of praise for his management this week. Speaking after the game, he shifted focus to his players and their performance.

It turned around today for round three. Obviously we had a massive set-back in Leinster... it's a massive achievement for us. I'm not going to say we're okay with it, it is a massive achievement for us. Mostly for the lads on the pitch there.

The result means a Kildare are within a game of the Super 8s, with the draw for round four of the qualifiers set for Monday.

SEE ALSO: Kieran McGeeney Condemns Pundits Interested Only In 'Personal Attacks'

Maurice Brosnan

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