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Spillane & Whelan Slam 'Naive' Kildare After First Half Hammering Against Dublin

Spillane & Whelan Slam 'Naive' Kildare After First Half Hammering Against Dublin
By Gary Connaughton
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Heading into this evening's Leinster final, few gave Kildare much hope of upsetting the odds against Dublin. It was thought that their defence could struggle in the wide open spaces of Croke Park, but not many could have predicted just how poor they would be.

As the teams left the pitch for halftime, The Dubs had already scored five goals on the back of some shambolic defending from their opponents.

Dublin started the game in ideal fashion, scoring a goal inside the first five minutes.

It was the prototypical goal from Dessie Farrell's side, with Ciaran Kilkenny finishing from close range after some quick short passing split the Kildare defence.


This would prove to only be the start of a long first half from Kildare.

By the end of the first 35 minutes, Dublin would have raised the green flag on a remarkable five occasions. Cormac Costello got the third of the game with this effort.


Con O'Callaghan scored Dublin's fifth and final goal of the first half, which arrived in only the 27th minute.


The score would be 5-7 to 0-6 at halftime.

It was certainly a humbling first half for Kildare, who would have entered this game with genuine belief that they could pull off the upset. At a time when many thought the gap between Dublin and the other teams in Leinster was closing, this is a stark reminder of just how far the competition has to go in that regard.

RTÉ pundits slam Kildare for Dublin display

Speaking on RTÉ at halftime, both Pat Spillane and Ciaran Whelan were effusive in their praise for Dublin, but questioned the naivety displayed by Kildare.


Spillane: It's heads up, intelligent football from Dublin, it's brilliant.

But Kildare conceded 2-15 against Westmeath (in the semi-final) and you said 'they will sort their defence today'. What did they do? They came out with the most naive defensive plan I ever saw and were opened up...

Whelan: Dublin have been ruthless, and electric as well. They got off to a great start, but if you're playing against Con O'Callaghan you don't leave him in 40 yards of space (for the first goal) in front of the goal in a one-on-one situation because he's going to cause difficulty.

I think Kildare arrived today thinking they were going for a shootout. They thought they were going to win a shootout. There was a touch of complacency about them and they probably underestimated Dublin...

While Dublin have been brilliant in everything they have done, I don't know if there was a complacency to Kildare. It seems like they came for a shootout and were thinking that their forward line could do damage and win the game.

Their defensive structure has been an absolute mess...

I thought Kildare were maybe saving something for Dublin, that they weren't going to come out and take on the Dublin forwards. That's what's happened and they've been torn to shreds.

Spillane: We hear so much about their brilliant forwards, their brilliant full forward line, their athleticism and physicality, but they need to deliver. They haven't been delivering and that's it.

While Dublin have been hugely dominant at provincial level over the last 17 years (winning all but one of the available titles), scoring five goals in the competition is a relative rarity. This the third time they have managed it in the last decade, although doing so in the first half is a remarkable feat.

As for Kildare, it looks like it will be quite a while before they can really put a challenge up to their Leinster rivals.

SEE ALSO: Peter Canavan Feels Donegal Must Copy Derry's Approach For Ulster Final Clash

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