Kildare hurlers crash to fourth tier of the league as London prevail in relegation shootout

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Kildare hurlers crash to fourth tier of the league as London prevail in relegation shootout
18:09 Saturday 10th of March 2018

London      1-19

Kildare       0-15

Allianz NHL Division 2A

Kildare will play their hurling in Division 2B of the Allianz National Hurling League in 2019 after they suffered a heavy defeat to London in a relegation shootout on Saturday afternoon.

Going over to McGovern Park it was a simple goal set out for Kildare - win and retain their Division 2A status, lose and they would tumble down to the fourth tier of National League hurling for the first time since 2015. With both teams sitting at the bottom of the table having suffered four wins in succession, neither side would have gone into this meeting with any huge amount of confidence, but Kildare were at least able to welcome back the likes of James Burke, Paul Divilly and Mark Grace from injury for the crucial game.

Joe Quaid's side had suffered defeats to Meath, Westmeath, Kerry and Carlow to leave themselves in a shootout with the Exiles, who, despite also losing every game themselves, are always an unpredictable proposition in Ruislip.

Kildare got off the mark through James Burke in the opening minute, but their game fell to pieces after that as London powered into a 1-4 to 0-1 after just 10 minutes. Kildare regrouped somewhat as Burke, Martin Fitzgerald and Kevin Whelan all landed scores, but the home side took a real stranglehold of the game as Kevin Reid, Richie Murphy and Henry Vaughan all hit the target in a scoring spree that saw London breeze into a 1-13 to 0-7 half-time lead.

Kildare remained a long distance off their hosts for the remainder of the game, and though they managed a further eight points in the second half as Burke, Fitzgerald, Mark Delaney and Brian Byrne all raised white flags, the gap was too big to make up and London retained their Division 2A status with relative ease.

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