12 months ago, Kevin Flynn’s chances of appearing at the quarter-final stage of the All-Ireland Championship would have been a distant dream and quite a lofty ambition, but here we are in the heat of July and the Celbridge man has taken to this level of football like a duck to water.
The 21-year-old has been an ever-present cog in the Kildare side since making his league debut against Donegal earlier in the year, and his performances have remained consistently solid for someone so inexperienced.
He did a fine job on Sunday as he was trusted with marking Shane Walsh – one of the standout players in the country this year – and he also featured well in attack, curling over a beautiful first half point at an important stage for the Lilywhites.
“It’s a big step up but it’s really enjoyable,” Flynn told the Kildare Post at full-time.
“Even out there today I felt I held my own and chipped in with a score. That’s what it’s all about, trying to help out wherever you can. Obviously, I had my hands full with Shane Walsh but I felt I did alright on him.”
Galway had obviously done their homework on the pacey Flynn, and almost every time he looked to break out from defence and support the attack he found his runs blocked by a niggling Galway pull, push or other kind of interference. He was even bizarrely booked by referee Seán Hurson after Shane Walsh flung him over in the second half before pulling away to get a chance on goal.
“That’s the sign of a good team,” admitted Flynn.
“Even myself and Shane Walsh, we were kind of bouncing off each other a little bit, but I suppose that’s what the top teams are all about. Every inch is crucial, and that’s how you get to the top I suppose.”
Despite a fine year, this was another tough defeat to take for Kildare in a campaign which has featured quite a few of close, but not close enough scenarios.
“It’s very disappointing now,” the DCU student reflected.
“I thought we put a massive shift in there, especially in the first half we were right in it. They got a few scores at the start of the second half and pulled away a little bit, but we’re just really, really frustrated. It’s disappointing.”
Daniel Flynn’s red card was a major turning point in the game, and the wing-back admitted that they really could have done with their star full-forward in the closing stages.
“I didn’t see what happened to be honest, and I’m not just saying that, I actually didn’t,” he said.
“I thought it was a black card at the time as well! Obviously Daniel is one of our big men and in the last 10 minutes he could have really drove us on, but these things happen and you just have to adapt and get on with it.”
Kildare travel to Killarney for a game that means nothing in the overall scheme of things for the Lilywhites, but Flynn says it is about playing for pride in the jersey at this stage.
“It’s obviously going to be a tough one down there, but I’m sure a few Kildare people have a weekend booked down there already. It’s all about showing a bit of pride in the jersey, which is obviously number one for us,” he concluded.
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