For sure there were positives but we still lost by fifteen points against a Dublin side that seemed in training mode at times. I thought we were out-worked too often, which is criminal, while our defensive looseness remains an achilles heel. Our marking on Costello and Mannion in particular was naive in the extreme. Some good performances from the likes of Feely, Tyrrell, McCormack, Kelly but once again execution was a problem. On to Antrim now we’ve escaped the wasteland of Leinster.
Peter Kelly (7.5) – The word “tigerish” has often been applied to Peter and he was close to man-of-the-match for me with his dogged defending and willingness to attack Dubs in first-half.
Mick O’Grady (6) – It’s funny really how Kildare defenders can look good sometimes individually even while the team is conceding score after score. O’Grady did some good things but you can’t get away from the overall looseness of the defence.
Mark Dempsey (5) – Had some good possessions and seems to have gained composure coming out with the ball during the championship. All positive. But he was there to man-mark Mannion one assumes and in no way could that be deemed a success. Tough ask for a young player and he hopefully will learn from it.
David Hyland (6) – Similar positives and negatives to the rest of the defence really.
Eoin Doyle (6) – Was he supposed to be marking Costello? No one could figure that one out. If he was, like Dempsey, he failed in that task. Got on plenty of ball and broke up some Dublin attacks. Showed drive coming forward in first-half, leading by example.
Keith Cribben (5) – Didn’t really get into the game although he was at the end of the goal chance fashioned by McCormack. Could have done better with that effort.
Kevin Feely (8) – Another occasion when he went toe to toe with Fenton and definitely won the aerial battle with a series of magnificent catches. One of the best in the game at that art. Fenton has the athleticism that the truly great midfielders need, though, which counter-balanced things somewhat. Feely was Kildare’s classiest performer, though.
Tommy Moolick (5) – A bit surprised he started but hard for O’Neill to leave him out after last week. Always struggles against Dublin’s pace and mobility and no surprise that was repeated here.
David Slattery (5) – A few runs but was surprisingly listless at times. He did manage to keep Jack McCaffrey quiet but the Dublin wing-back seemed a bit off the pace himself. Disappointing impact going forward.
Fergal Conway (6) – Has struggled against Dublin in the past but I thought he was better here and certainly put in a shift. End product a bit lacking but not through lack of effort.
Chris Healy (7) – Pacy and hard-working, he gave us something different at half-forward in the first-half, carried ball well and troubled Dublin at times. Good first start of the season. Whether the knock he took before half-time impacted him or not I’m not sure but he faded out of it before being replaced in the second-half.
Adam Tyrrell (7.5) – One of his best championship outings for Kildare. Great to see his club form translate. Seems to be in a great place with his football at the moment and playing with maturity. Two of his four points were quite magnificent although still missed three chances out of seven. Ball into McCormack for second-half goal chance was a peach.
Ben McCormack (7.5) – His pace and acceleration really troubled Mick Fitzsimons and on another day Ben might have added a couple of goals to his three points. He needs to calm down in front of goals as three points from nine scoring chances was not a return befitting his general play. Performance helped compensate for the continued absence of Dan Flynn, though.
Neil Flynn (4) – Corner forward is becoming a problem position for us, surprisingly. Flynn had a nightmare. Dropped a few easy enough balls and missed a free (scored an easy one). Doesn’t seem fully fit and there were suggestions of a back injury. Poor summer for him so far.
Kevin O’Callaghan (7) – Something of a revelation. Added a bit of pace and dash to wing forward to prove he’s not just a big target man. Offered some promise.
Cian O’Donoghue (5) – Didn’t have a lot of time but still limited in his impact. Game was gone at that stage. Rugged shoulder denied him goal chance.
Jimmy Hyland (5) – Little impact. Antrim offers him another chance although Healy and perhaps O’Callaghan could be ahead of him in the queue for a starting position.
Eoghan O’Flaherty (5) – Little impact in his 14 minutes.
Conor Hartley – not on long enough. Surprised he wasn’t introduced earlier for Cribbin or Slattery. Workrate would have been useful.