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Saturday 21 September 2019

Lilies back on track as O'Rourke steps down from Farney

 

BRAVE: Antrim’s Patrick Gallagher blocks a shot at goal by Kildare’s Keith Cribbin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
BRAVE: Antrim’s Patrick Gallagher blocks a shot at goal by Kildare’s Keith Cribbin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Following their deconstruction at the hands of Dublin thirteen days earlier, Kildare got their All-Ireland campaign back on track with a more than comfortable 1-25 to 0-14 victory over Antrim in Corrigan Park, Belfast on Saturday afternoon.

Leading by 0-13 to 0-6 at the break, a Fergal Conway goal five minutes after the restart put paid to Antrim's slim hopes of victory.

Adam Tyrrell and Neil Flynn combined superbly up front for the Lilies, sharing fifteen points in total, with Kildare supremo Cian O'Neill delighted with the response of his team following their drubbing by The Dubs.

"The lads have put in an absolutely outstanding 12-13 days and you could see that all over the performance.

"I thought everyone all over the pitch did a really fantastic job but it is the scores going over the bar that will be remembered.

"It is great to see the lads turned around the disappointment of two weeks ago and put in a real workmanlike shift with a high level of execution," added O'Neill.

While O'Neill can look forward to the remainder of the summer with renewed optimism, the same can not be said about Malachy O'Rourke, whose Monaghan side were comprehensively beaten by Armagh by 2-17 to 1-12.

Rian O'Neill proved the match-winner for Armagh, netting both goals with Jack McCarron's 66th minute goal of scant consolation to the Farney county.

"I have been there for seven years. It is with a heavy heart I have decided to step down," said O'Rourke.

"I have had a brilliant time with the boys. They are a massive group of players, the County Board, the sponsors, my background team. Everybody has been brilliant.

"We have had some unbelievable days together and a few disappointments along the way too. Look whatever is the best thing for the players.

"I think at this stage that maybe a fresh voice and fresh impetus would be the best thing to rejuvenate the thing so I am stepping down," he said.

Armagh are joined in the qualifier draw by a Laois team that recorded an impressive 1-13 to 0-12 victory over Derry in Owenbeg.

Eoin Lowry's 66th minute goal proved the pivotal score of the game with the O'Moore tally boosted by four points and three points respectively from Donie Kingston and Colm Murphy.

Westmeath were another Leinster county to advance as they beat Limerick by 2-13 to 1-10 in Mullingar with their goals coming through James Dolan and Joe Halligan, either side of half-time.

In Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada, goals from Gary Brennan, Jamie Malone and substitute Eimhin Courtney allowed a commanding Clare to ease past Leitrim by 3-17 to 0-17 with David Tubridy chipping in with five points for the Banner County.

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