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Another draw

Kildare County  2      Kilkenny City  2

This result just about sums up the Thoroughbred's season as they conceded the lead through an own goal and then proceeded to miss a penalty before again falling behind to ten man Kilkenny in what was a remarkable match. It took an 87th minute strike from Stephen Cooling, his sixth of the season to rescue a point for a lethargic home side. 

The real hero of the day for Kilkenny was stand-in goalkeeper, Robbie Quan. When Kilkenny were reduced to ten men early in the second half after Gerry Treacy was shown a red card for bringing down Ger Robinson, Quan took his place between the sticks in the absence of a regular goalkeeper on the bench.

His first job was to face Philly Gorman’s penalty and not many would have bet against the Brownstown bomber netting his fourteenth goal of the season. It was not to be however as Quan  guessed correctly, diving to his right to palm away Gorman’s well struck spot kick.

Bottom-of-the-table Kilkenny arrived in Newbridge determined to make a fight of the game and they were full value for their lead when they opened the scoring after 31 minutes in somewhat fortunate circumstances.

Timmy Kiely played a short corner to Stephen Grant and he crossed into the Kildare box, where in an effort to hack the ball away Stephen Cooling sliced past his keeper Colin Cassidy.

Kildare then started a play a bit and they pulled level minutes from the break when Kilkenny failed to deal with Alan Byrne's long throw and Gorman squeezed the ball home from ten yards in a crowded area for his 13th goal of the season.

Gorman's joy turned to pain two minutes into the second half when Quan saved his spot-kick and things went even worse for Kildare when after a poor corner in the 76th minut.e, Kiely led a quick Kilkenny counter attack that ended with Grant rounding Cassidy and giving Kilkenny the lead once more.

Kildare pinned the visitors into their own after that but they failed to really test Quan and it looked like Kilkenny would hold out until Cooling struck late on after Willie Tyrell's poor defensive from Barry Clancy’s cross and the ball fell to the midfielder who gave hero Quan no chance.

All four league meetings between the sides this season have ended in draws, which with no disrespect to the Cats, is a poor return for a County side that has defied the odds throughout the season with some fine victories over top sides but have failed to put away weaker opposition.

They will be hoping for better luck when they travel to take on third placed Dundalk in their final game of the season next Saturday. Kick off is at 7.45pm.

Kildare County: Cassidy; Donnelly (Hanaphy 79), A Byrne, P Byrne, Stapleton (Clancy 58); Brady, Cooling, Carew (Kavanagh 34), McCrossan; Gorman, Robinson. 

Kilkenny City: Treacy; Ryan, O'Shea, Tyrell, Dermody; Bargary, Grant, Comerford, Mulcahy (Quan 47); O'Connor (Ryan 68), Kiely.

Referee: E. McNally (Cork).


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