Jack Sheridan, Kildare, and Caolan Taggart, Down, tussel for the sliothar
Kildare were crowned Christy Ring champion for the third time this afternoon when they had three points to spare over a spirited Down side at Croke Park.
In the end it was The Lilies three goals that saw them lift the cup, the green flags being raised by Paul Divilly, Tadhg Forde and Jack Sheridan.
And the goals was vital, it was the defence as a whole that really stood out. To a man they defended, putting their bodies on the line and even when Down threatened near the end, they stood firm and strong.
Kildare led, somewhat fortunate at the break 2-7 to 0-10, the second goal coming just at the break.
On the resumption it was Jack Sheridan goal that really gave Kildare the momentum, and while they was three in it at the final whistle, 3-16 to 0-22, it was touch and go right up to the final whistle.
Both teams are promoted to the McDonagh Cup for 2021, but it is Kildare that will go up to Tier 2 as Christy Ring chamion.
Scorers: Kildare, Brian Byrne 0-7 (6 free),Jack Sheridan 1-4 (3 frees, 65)), Paul Divilly 1-1, Tadhg Forde 1-0, David Slattery 0-1, James Burke 0-2, Shane Ryan 0-1.
Down, Oisín MacManus 0-4 (2 frees), Pearse Óg McCrickrd 0-3 (1 cut), Tim Pender 0-4, Dithí Sands 0-6 (5 frees), Conor Woods 0-1 (free), Paul Sheehan 0-2 (1 free).
KILDARE: Mark Doyle (Clane); Simon Lacey (Naas), John Doran (Leixlip), Cian Shanahan (Clane); Niall Ó Muineacháin (Celbridge), Rian Boran (Naas), Kevin Whelan (Naas); Cathal Dowling (Naas), Paul Divilly (Confey); James Burke (Naas), Jack Sheridan (Naas) Conor Dowling (Naas); Tadhg Forde (Maynooth), Brian Byrne cpt, (Naas), David Slattery (Confey). Subs: Sean Christanseen (Clane) for Cian Shanahan (42 minutes); Shane Ryan (Naas) for Conor Dowling (51 minutes); Kevin Aherne (Naas) for Tadhg Forde (54 minutes); Cathal McCabe (Maynooth) for David Slattery (69 minutes).
DOWN: Stephen Keith; Tony Murray, Caolan Tagart, Michael Hughes; Barry Trainor, Conor Woods, Liam Savage; Matt Conlon, John McManus; Donal Hughes; Pearse Óg McCrickard, Tim Prenter; Oisín MacManus; Eoin Sands, Daithí Sands. Subs: Gerard Hughes for Barry Trainor (27 minutes); Pehlim Ssvage for Michael Hughes (half time); Chris Egan for Donal Hughes (53 minutes); Paul Sheehan for Oisín McManus (53 minutes); Ryan McCusker for Pearse McCrickard (66 minutes).
REFEREE: Chris Mooney, Dyblin.