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Saturday 18 August 2018

Tribesmen set to conquer Fortress Newbridge

Win or bust: Kildare’s Daniel Flynn
Win or bust: Kildare’s Daniel Flynn

Maybe this is what Kildare need.

No long-term planning. Just a straight, win-or-bust scenario, the one they responded to so well in the qualifiers and in particular, their last match in Newbridge against Mayo.

For all their guts in reeling Monaghan in from a couple of points up at half-time last week, Kildare never quite clicked.

They were impatient with their running game, trying to punch immediate holes in Monaghan's defence, rather than staying patient - as they did so effectively against Fermanagh in Navan a couple of weeks back.

Hence, they coughed up turnovers against one of the game's best-tackling teams.

Daniel Flynn, for all his obvious excellence on the ball, didn't quite get on it enough.

Kevin Feely is clearly carrying an injury but Kildare need to find a way he can influence this match other than just winning marks - useful and occasionally spectacular though they are.

And Kildare's bench, for all the pace and skill they have there through Niall Kelly, David Slattery and Chris Healy, only really featured a significant contribution from Eamonn Callaghan.

All areas for obvious and necessary improvement if Kildare are to have any chance here.

Galway squeezed the life out of Kerry last week and the sight of Paul Geaney back in his own half-back line, trying desperately to have an influence is one that should force Cian O'Neill into playing Flynn in a more involved role around the middle, rather than being Shanghaied in the morass of bodies around the wolfishly-guarded Galway goal.

Galway seem to have it sussed just now, though.

They've beaten Kildare three times in the past 16 months and this should be a fourth.

ODDS: Kildare 9/4, Draw 15/2, Galway 1/2

VERDICT: Galway

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