Kildare Louth GAAilbag (GAA Mailbag)

by louthandproud on June 7, 2014

in County

Building up to Sunday’s big game I’ve been mailing Kildare based Scribbler and Mayo man Cormac O’Malley and getting an insight on Kildare GAA first hand.

We’ve been going back and forth the past week and now that the game is upon us tomorrow, I think you might find it an interesting read.


Excuse the language,spelling errors and most of all, don’t take it too seriously

You can Follow Cormac on twitter @Cormacpro

Hi Cormac thanks for being my GAA penpal!

Firstly before we debate on why Louth will win and Kildare won’t!

can you tell me how exactly a Mayo man ends up in Kildare
the term gutton for punishment springs to mind!!!


I can see there will be no convincing you of the merits of a Kildare victory at all is there?
Before we get onto the ins and outs of a potential classic though, I’ll answer your query. I first landed in Kildare via the wonderful NUI Maynooth, and despite my great love of Mayo, I just haven’t been able to tear myself away from the Lilywhites ever since! It’s not been easy following the fortunes of two counties synonymous for their ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory but you can’t but admire the spirit in both counties, which are like the Wee County, football mad.

We sure are….and I think actually Louth are the kings of snatching Defeat from the jaws of victory but thats a whole conversation for another day!!

As you are on the ground of the Curragh not literally i hope! what is the general mood in the county?

i’m going to ask you if kildare fans think they are going to beat us because they always do!


Are they all wearing black and still in mourning the loss of the great Geezer?
have they forgotten about him with Jason Ryan at the helm?


It’s a slightly curious mood in Kildare this time around. The Dublin juggernaut I think has tempered hopes of even a win in Leinster, but the feeling is that a Leinster final appearance should be well within the grasp of this team. Most level-headed Kildare supporters are realistic, they know this is a new team in a lot of ways so they are just looking for signs of improvement and if that comes then relegation from the league will be forgotten.
The Geezer talk raised its head a bit during the league and no doubt a defeat to Louth would bring it right back into the spotlight but I think people are ready to give Jason Ryan a chance. He seems to have the backing of the players and that’s the most important thing really.

What is the view from the Wee County?


We certainly are high on confidence after the last day out and the mood around the county is really good. BUT and there is always a but we’ll head to croker more hopeful rather than expectful.

For one, We know we’ll be punished for any mistakes we make unlike the last day.

Kildare’s level of fitness and experience of Croke park is also a worry on our part but its countered by AOR Aidan’O’Rourke’s knowledge of Kildare’s panel and the retirement of John Doyle!
Kildare’s main leader is not there anymore, who will provide the scores for them in the last ten minutes?


The big question is though, will it come down to those last ten minutes! Given Louth’s propensity to upset Kildare over the years (1991, 1995 and 2010 immediately spring to mind)  you would say the men in red have a chance BUT in reality a team relegated bottom of Division Two against a side who were (reasonably) unlucky to drop out of the top tier, there will be only one winner surely…..


True and thanks for that reality check!!

Kildare hammered Westmeath in the league by 17 points. We only beat them by 5 based on that, we are 12 points behind Kildare.

However, news has broke that Kildare’s main scorer in the league Mulhall will be out and other injury rumours around the Kildare camp also do you know them?
Surely these injuries narrows the gap slightly!?

The louth team was also named does it strike any fear in your adopted Kildare heart?


Darroch will be a big loss for this game, and there is no doubt about that. This game would have been an ideal testing ground for him in Croke Park in the height of summer. With the retirement of the great Johnny Doyle as well, it reduces the scoring options upfront for the Lilies. I still think they will have enough firepower going forward to trouble the Louth back-line.
Despite the disparity of the results against Westmeath I think Louth will be quietly confident themselves. The side picked looks well balanced and probably along the lines of what we would have expected would you say?


who are the options I know Eoghan O’Flatherty has been outstanding in Club games but who else will Kildare look to, to provide the scores?

Do they have an attacking style? and crucially Who will be given the responsibility of free taker?

Our team has been tailored to suit Kildare’s athletic nature so that does give me confidence hopefully we can counterattack effectively like the last day.


You’re right that Eoghan will have a big say, he was magnificent in the club championship recently hitting 1-11 on a night you wouldn’t put a dog out in. He will take responsibility for some of the frees, but Darroch will be missed from the left so it depends on who is drafted in.

A major scoring threat for the Lilies who Louth will certainly have to keep a rein on is young Paddy Brophy. The Celbridge lad is a huge talent as was highlighted by his wonderful goal against Dublin last year and his superb winner in the final minute to beat Mayo in the league this season. He is developing into a real leader in the forward line and will have a big big say this weekend. Cathal McNally is half forward who has a real eye for goal too and he has adapted to the inter-county scene steadily over the last couple of seasons. He might not be as high profile as his club-mates Sean Hurley, Brian Flanagan or the now departed Daniel Flynn but he is a player who can sparkle when given half a chance.

You make the point that Louth are set-up to counter Kildare’s athletic nature and the fact that they have set their stall out so early with naming the team indicates that they are confident they can deal with anything Kildare can throw at them. Do you think Paddy Keenan can dominate in midfield against the ever improving Tommy Moolick? Any word on challenge games since the Westmeath win? Will the young starlet Raymond Burns(Yes, he said Raymond!) make an appearance or will the Leaving Cert save the Kildare defenders the hassle of chasing the Ardee CS student?


Great information there Cormac and helps me visualise a possible Kildare forward line of McNally, O’Flaherty, Cribben, Brophy O’Connor and Kelly? all above average footballers but their potency in front of goals might well be average individually however, in saying that, O’Connor and Kelly caused us problems in the past and as a group they might have something to prove with everyone (including me) saying they’ll struggle without John Doyle. Thats a scary thought as a Louth fan!!

It will be a tough one on Ryan, intense week of exams and a little bit of expectancy on him if he does make an appearance I think AOR will be smart about the situation and hold him in reserve completely unless he makes a five minute cameo at the end when the game is all but over for either side.

Tommy Moolick is the type of high energy midfielder very well suited to pick up PK but is he still a little too green to curb him for a full 70plus minutes hang on you are putting doubts in my head now! Moolick could be PK’s kryptonite!
Quick fire round:
Is Fogarty, Kelly and O’Grady all injured?

Will Emmett Bolton wear his infamous white boots?

who would you pick to play 3 and 6? and who will Jason Ryan possibly go with? (Foley and Chalky?)

Is Tomas O’Connor the strongest GAA player in Ireland?

You’d be in and around correct with the forward line,(how wrong was I!) you might see Sean Hurley start in the half forward line if fit too with Paul Cribbin shifting to the half back line where his forward runs will keep Derek Maguire, Andy McDonnell (or whoever starts in the hf line), honest. Alan Smith could force his way in there yet as well, so there are options for Ryan. Let’s not forget Kildare managed to out-score Dublin over the course of the seven league games so they do have scoring power in there. I wouldn’t be so hasty as to write off the forwards just yet!

Tommy Moolick has really established himself in midfield this year which is a huge plus for JR and he will enjoy the space of Croke Park, but Keenan is nobody’s fool, it could be a brilliant duel if those too match up on each other. The thing is though you probably won’t have a straight battle in midfield with traditional kick-outs, it will be very interesting to see what tactics the two sides go with from the restarts.

Quick fire answers:

Yes, no and yes (as of this week anyway).

Quality white boots are hard to beat. Emmet is the man to carry them off.

The 3 & 6 conundrum has been an issue for a while now, but I think that in time Fergal Conway will make the centre back position his own. Whether that time will be from Sunday remains to be seen but I would say you’ll see Foley start in there.

Tomas O’Connor could bench-lift Croke Park*

(*Tom O’Connor may not be able to bench-lift Croke Park)


Haha love that Tomas O’Connor terms and conditions statement

So the teams are named the table is more or less set….but before we put our necks on the line I still have a few mysteries I need resloved?

Where is Paul Cribbin and Eoghan O’Flaherty? I think Paul Cribbin is your best overall player and EOF as your most talented forward!?

and finally I smell a rat, and think maybe Jason Ryan has named a dummy team? Is late changes/switches in his nature?

I asked the question myself on Twitter, is Jason Ryan a man for dummy teams. The answer would seem to be….this time. Strong rumours O Flaherty will start and with not a single player from either side (Moorefield & Sarsfields) that contested last years county final not named to star, one has to suspect Ryan is ready to make several changes to the starting line up.

Would you be more or less confident now having seen the Kildare team, albeit one we suspect is a dummy. Does it show a bit of respect/fear for Louth from Cill Dara?


hmmm we’ll see on sunday at around 2.01pm whether Jason has set out a dummy or not….

I think the forward line Ryan has named is certainly less potent without O’Flaherty.  Padraig O’Neill is not a scoring forward but will more than likely swap with Hurley anyway!

I think by naming his team earlier AOR gains the early initiative and a slight mind game advantage as it means the opposition manager, Jason Ryan has no option to look at the Louth team when deciding his 15.  The selecton of Emmet Bolton at corner back typifies this, he’ll let our corner forward Mick Fanning filter back while sweeping in the Kildre backline himself. It makes for stalemate of a game.

So with out further ado who do you think will win and why?


Good points made on the fact Kildare’s selection will have been impacted by Louth’s team but at the same time I think Jason Ryan will be confident that the fifteen he picks will be good enough to take the win.

Overall I’m going to say Kildare have the edge but Louth are high on confidence and I think they’ll run the Lilies close. So I’m going to say Kildare by three but don’t slag me too much if they don’t!!


Haha I hopefully i do!  cause that’ll  means we’ll have won!

In all seriousness I am more hopeful than confident of  a Louth win…yes we can do it and I think we will be well organised and that will stand to us.
We’ll look to shut down Kildare’s attack firstly and counter from there.

It will be tough, Kildare are effectively a division 1 side well used to Croker and it’s dimensions but tomorrow will be our day!

thanks for the mails Cormac in what was first ever GAAil bag!!

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