THROWBACK THURSDAY: The day we beat Kildare in Croke Park in 2006

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

2006 was the year of Offaly's most recent appearance in a Leinster Football final. During their run to the final, they came up against old rivals Kildare in Croke Park at the quarter-final stage. 

Offaly had beaten Westmeath in the first round of the Leinster championship, while Kildare came into the game cold for their first test of the 2006 Leinster Championship.

Kildare struck first with a Dermot Earley point in the opening seconds, while Alan McNamee replied with a goal, slotting his effort neatly to the bottom corner minutes later. A ding-dong battle ensued between the arch rivals. 

It was close throughout but Kildare had edged in front 0-10 to 1-06 by the 40th minute, before the Tyrone referee awarded a penalty to Offaly for a foul on John Reynolds. Niall McNamee obliged from the spot (with the help of the post) and Offaly were in front again, and were holding off Kildare 2-08 to 0-11 when Niall found Thomas Deehan in space and the diminutive corner-forward buried to the net on the 60-minute mark.

Offaly won out by 3-09 to 0-15, winning by three, and went on to beat Wexford in the semi-final to set up a final date with Dublin. Sadly, Offaly's most recent appearance in the Leinster football showpiece ended in a heavy defeat, 1-15 to 0-09, at HQ. 

But still, at least we got one over on the Lillies!