Big challenge for Kildare's footballers and hurlers as both sides face cup exits today

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Big challenge for Kildare's footballers and hurlers as both sides face cup exits today
10:30 Sunday 7th of January 2018

It's a make or break day for the Kildare footballers and hurlers today, with both sides set to go out of their respective pre season competitions unless a pair of remarkable results are achieved.

The footballers travel to Longford for their second round O'Byrne Cup clash, and they need a comprehensive win of 11 points or more to avoid an exit from the competition after suffering an eight-point hammering to Louth on Wednesday night. The Lilywhites will have four debutants in their team for the game as Cian O'Neill sticks true to his word about trying out new players, with Ailin McDermott, Ruádhan Ó'Giolláin, Jimmy Hyland and Eoghan Lawless all set for their first senior starts.

Longford won by six points last time out against Louth, so overturning the Midlanders by such a large margin would require a huge turn in the form books for Kildare. If they fail to achieve the desired result, O'Neill's men won't be back in competitive action until their league opener against Dublin in Croke Park on January 27.

The Kildare hurlers face an altogether more daunting task today as they travel to Freshford for their second round Walsh Cup game.

Joe Quaid's side were well beaten by Laois last weekend, but they competed well at times against a side who would be a tier above them. Stepping up to face Kilkenny is an altogether different challenge though, and the Cats dished out a 28-point hammering to Laois on Wednesday night.

Shane Ryan will make his debut today for the hurlers, while Martin Fitzgerald returns to the starting team for the first time since 2016 after taking a year out from intercounty hurling last year.

Both games throw in at 2pm today, and KildareNow will have coverage from the two Kildare matches.

Kildare XV to play Longford

  1. Mark Donnellan- Maynooth
  2. Peter Kelly- Two Mile House
  3. Mick O’ Grady- Celbridge
  4. Mark Hyland- Athy
  5. Ailin McDermott- Naas
  6. Eoin Doyle- Naas
  7. Cian O' Donoghue- Clane
  8. Kevin Feely- Athy
  9. Tommy Moolick- Leixlip
  10. Ruádhan O’ Giolláin- Maynooth
  11. Paschal Connell- Athy
  12. Paul Cribbin- Johnstownbridge
  13. Jimmy Hyland- Ballyteague
  14. Éamonn Callaghan- Naas
  15. Eoin Lawless- Suncroft

    Kildare XV to play Kilkenny

    1. Paul Dermody
    2. Paul Sullivan
    3. John Doran
    4. Dylan Brereton
    5. Mark Grace
    6. Mark Moloney
    7. Eanna O'Neill
    8. Chris Bonus
    9. Brian Byrne
    10. Kevin Whelan
    11. Paul Divilly
    12. James Burke
    13. Jack Sheridan
    14. Martin Fitzgerald
    15. Shane Ryan

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