25 Jul 2009 - GAA - Kildare 1-16 Wicklow 2-9

Kildare kicked 12 wides, including eight in the second half, but still managed to win in spite of another spirited display from Mick O'Dwyer's men.

The Lilywhites, inspired by man-of-the-match Dermot Earley, led by 0-11 to 1-04 at the interval, with Seanie Furlong bagging Wicklow's goal.

And although a Tony Hannon goal brought Wicklow back to life, Kildare proved too strong and gained some revenge for their Leinster Championship defeat to the same opposition last year.

It was a game of purple patches for both sides, plenty of near misses and in the end, Kieran McGeeney's well-drilled charges, playing two divisions above Wicklow in the National League, deservedly made it through to the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Once again, Wicklow's legendary manager failed to make a substitution in a game where Kildare's superior fitness and strength in depth ultimately proved decisive in the end.

Showing their eagerness right from the off - with Wicklow looking to build on their surprise defeat of Down and Kildare keen to erase memories of the recent Leinster final - the sides were level on five occasions in the opening half.

Off the back of that disappointing loss to Dublin, the Lilywhites pushed hard early on as scores from Dermot Earley and a trio of John Doyle points, as against a lone Seanie Furlong score, gave them a 0-04 to 0-01 lead by the 16th minute.

Kildare looked comfortable but Wicklow were only getting motoring and following a quickly-taken Leighton Glynn free, Furlong flashed a 17th minute effort to the back of the Kildare net.

The sides were suddenly level for the second time but the momentum was now with a resilient Wicklow side as Furlong brought his and his team's tally to 1-02 with a well-taken point.

Alan Smith may have bagged the next point, but Wicklow responded strongly with scores from defender Darren Hayden and Furlong to take a 1-04 to 0-06 lead by the 28th minute.

But in a real show of strength, the beaten Leinster finalists chalked up five unanswered points before the break.

Defender Morgan O'Flaherty, Doyle, Robert Kelly, Padraig O'Neill and brian Flanagan ensured a 0-11 to 1-04 interval lead for the men in white.

The 17,700-strong crowd were certainly given full value for money as the Garden County men pushed Kildare to the edge on the restart.

Kildare put three scoring chances wide of the posts in a five-minute spell after the break, with Wicklow also trying their best to snuff out scores at the other end.

Micko's men faced into the town end in the second half and were unlucky not to steal in for an early goal. Paul Earls was gifted a serious chance but somehow his effort was scooped away from the danger area.

It took eight minutes for the first score of the second half to arrive with experienced marksman Doyle slotting over his fourth point, and this was quickly backed up by a third from play for the influential Earley.

But again Wicklow rallied and their sheer determination paid off with Furlong again instrumental as a poacher.

The full-forward added his fourth point before team captain Leighton Glynn was the provider for Hannon to brilliantly smash home Wicklow's second goal in the 47th minute.

Wicklow kept up the momentum as the game entered the final quarter, and with John Doyle now erring from placed balls, points from James Stafford and Dean Odlum levelled the contest for the first time since the 33rd minute.

But Kildare drove forward and answered back impressively as scores from Smith and Callaghan (0-02) gave them a three-point lead with ten minutes remaining.

Dean Odlum helped cut the deficit with a 64th minute point, but Wicklow, missing the impact of fresh legs, struggled to find the posts in the closing minutes and once Smith fisted Kildare's lone goal past Mervyn Travers late on, Wicklow's fairytale Championship campaign was over.

Scorers: Kildare: A Smith 1-02, J Doyle 0-04 (0-02f, 0-01 '45'), D Earley 0-03, E Callaghan 0-02, J Kavanagh, M O'Flaherty, P O'Neill, R Kelly, B Flanagan 0-01 each

Wicklow: S Furlong 1-04 (0-02f), T Hannon 1-00, D Odlum 0-02, P Earls, J Stafford, D Hayden 0-01 each

KILDARE: T Corley; E Bolton, M Foley, H McGrillen; M O'Flaherty, B Flanagan, M Conway; D Flynn, D Earley; J Kavanagh, P O'Neill, R Sweeney; A Smith, K Donnelly, J Doyle.

Subs used: R Kelly for Donnelly (31 mins), A McLoughlin for Flanagan (32-34, blood sub), E Callaghan for Sweeney (53), A McLoughlin for Foley (65), A Rainbow for O'Neill (70).

WICKLOW: M Travers; C Hyland, D O'hAnnaidh, S Kelly; P McWalter, B McGrath, D Hayden; J Stafford, T Walsh; L Glynn, T Hannon, JP Dalton; D Odlum, S Furlong, P Earls.

Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)