Michael Verney was at O’Moore Park as Kildare beat Offaly by 0-20 to 0-16 in the Leinster SFC, where Neil Flynn togged out for the Lilywhites just 24 hours after his father Fergal was laid to rest.
BY GERARD BROWNE
Neil Flynn put a difficult week behind him to play a crucial role in Kildare’s four points victory over Offaly in the Leinster SFC quarter-final.
The Maynooth player came off the bench to kick three points, only a day after the funeral of his father Fergal.
Michael Verney was impressed with Flynn’s mindset when introduced.
“The game was very tight when he came on,” Verney says. “He came on in the 55th minute and he was quiet enough at first.
“He then kicked an outrageous free out near the sideline. It was a huge score, at a huge time. He kicked three out of the last four points for Kildare.
“To be in the right frame of mind, given the week he had, given what he went through on Saturday, it was great for him to have that.
“There was a great out pour of emotions at the end, with one of his teammates embracing him.
“I’m sure he just wanted to go out and play, to take his mind off everything for those 20 minutes.”
Manager Jack O’Connor was full of praise for the 25-year-old and hopes it gives the family something to smile about after a painful few day.
“The man hasn’t got much sleep and emotionally it was very tough for him,” the Kerry native comments.
“I think that will give him a lift and it’s a great sign of the man. Hopefully that will give the family a little bit of a lift.”
The Lilywhites ran out 0-20 to 0-16 winners, with debutant Darragh Kirwan the star of the show scoring 0-6.
Cian Farrell and Anton Sullivan missed goal chances for the Faithful and Verney believes O’Connor’s side have plenty to work on.
“If Offaly are cutting you open like that, then it’s not a great sign of what Dublin/Meath could do to them,” Verney states.
“They kicked 14 wides and kicked five balls short into the keeper’s hands. A championship game under their belt will help though.”
Next up for the 2017 beaten Leinster finalists is a meeting with Meath next Sunday. The Royals made light work of Wicklow yesterday, beating Davy Burke’s charges 7-14 to 0-7.
📮 Sign up to the OurGame newsletter — a daily email reminder of our latest videos, articles, quizzes and more.