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Under 21's Hammered By UCD


KILDARE County's Under 21 side suffered their most disappointing defeat of the season in a 6-1 drubbing at Belfield on Sunday.

First team goalkeeper Gareth Byrne got plenty of work in his second game back in action after a recent knee operation and thankfully the experienced stopper was in spectacular form.

Byrne had made three stunning saves to deny Richie Purdy and Alan Gallen twice before Kildare took a shock lead in the 21st minute.

There seemed little danger when Mikey McCann was challenged by a Students defender in the penalty area but a mistimed tackle gave the young Thoroughbreds a spot-kick their early showing scarcely deserved.

Barry Burke sent the penalty low and hard past Pat Jennings junior in the UCD goal to give the visitors a shock lead.

UCD equalised in the 39th minute when Gallen cut through some terrible tackling to finally fire past Byrne from close range - three minutes later former Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United midfielder Alan Cawley completed a similar run with a similarly well placed second for the home side.

The Students scored a controversial third to kill the game off in the 56th minute when substitute Oisin Crean appeared to handle the ball in the build-up as he beat Gareth Byrne to a long ball and shot home from 20 yards.

UCD began to pull Kildare apart after that with Gallen getting a second,tapping home past sub keeper Tadhg Murphy, and Cawley getting his second in the 78th minute after the visitors were caught on the break.

Late efforts by captain Mick Harnett, Shay Fox and Kevin Finn almost bagged a second for County but they were only attempts at consolation -the salt was finally rubbed in the wound when Patrick McWalter scored number six on yet another lightening UCD break.

"It was as bad a performance as we've given and coming on the back of some really encouraging performances, you can only be frustrated," said County boss Eddie Moen.

"Our recent form had seen several players impress the first team management and that was proven when Ken Darker made the bench for the first time against Dundalk.

"We face UCD again next Saturday - *provisionally marked down for Clane - and we simply have to respond in the best fashion possible."

KILDARE COUNTY - Gareth Byrne; Shaun Tobin, Kevin O'Donovan, Eoin Hetherington, Dave Griffiths, Bryan Byrne, Barry Burke, Kevin Finn, Mick Harnett, Ken Darker, Mikey McCann. Subs - Tadhg Murphy for G Byrne 60 mins,Seamus Fox for Tobin 69.


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