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Leinster Leader 17 July 2008
Liam Kenny
Kildare football marked the summer of 1958 with the county team involved in a number of challenge matches. The county team, invariably termed ‘All Whites’ in the Leader reports, had been beaten by Dublin by four points in the final of the Carnew Church Building Fund at Croke Park. However the All Whites enjoyed an easier game in a challenge game against Knockbeg Past Pupils played at St. Brigid’s Park in Kildare.  The match gave the Kildare side the chance to try out some new blood to fill vacancies left by injuries. Introduced to the team were Wright of Castlemitchell, and O’Connell and F. Gibbons of Kildare town. The Leader GAA correspondent was nothing if not enthusiastic about the arrival of the new men ‘ without these three players have proved that the material is in the county in plenty. From the display in the match it was shown that the advent of young blood with determination and virility will infuse into the players that enthusiasm which carried us so well in the league. When we have again the services of D.Flood, P Connolly and P. Gibbons we will indeed have a team and substitutes that can be relied on to bring lustre in the near future to the All-Whites.’

The match against the Knockbeg Past Pupils started very tamely but within five minutes the crowed was electrified when Kildare scored their first goal. However Knockbeg did not take this early reverse lying down. Their defence stiffened and their field kicking became more accuratem and they soon added points which put them to the front. Kildare then got going and from then on goals and points came at regular intervals. The Castlemitchell man, Wright, rallied the team and when all seemed lost he ‘ secured and sent us (all-whites) attacking.’ However there was some pointed advice from the Leader reporter for the player: ‘ Wright should, however stay in his place and not wander too much.’ The half-backs got a good rating while goalie Dockery kept ‘a good goal.’ The Kildare half-back line performed better than when they played Dublin earlier in the year: Carolan, as usual, was reliable; and P. Loughlin surprised the most severe critic by his deft and quick delivery of the ball.’ 
Continuing his rating of the players the Leader reporter noted: ‘ O’Connell should have gained a permanent place on the team. After a shaky start our centrefield of F.Gibbons and C.Kelly improved but Wright went to centrefield to partner Kelly, and Gibbons went to the full forward line.’  A rare event on the GAA pitches was also noted: ‘ O’Malley came back to his former brilliance and scored a goal direct from a ‘fifty’. Hogan played better and both himself and O’Malley took part in some fine movements on their wing. The other forwards added their quota and what the spectators liked about the whole team was their determination to give their best to the final whistle. There was no slacking for the whole hour. O’Malley, Hogan, Aldridge and Kane had goals to their credit and though the Knockbeg men marked very closely our players broke loose from their stranglehold and kept going. One player Lieut K. Daly on the Knockbeg side gave his best display since the injury and was in the picture for an hour. Fleming led almost the attacks of the Knockbeg men. Nonetheless Kildare ran out convincing winners with a score of 6-10 to 2-4.
There was a closer match at club level reported when Maynooth upset a fancied Kilcock side. Kilcock was very unlucky in failing to score from two penalties which were conceded by Maynooth when the latter team’s backs were, in the dramatic words of the Leader correspondent ‘forced to foul to save their citadel’. Nontheless Kilock led by six points at half-time and they were helped by the strong breeze blowing. In the second half Maynooth availed of ever opportunity and the breeze was a factor in their victory. Kilcock was without their star player, P.Gibbons, who is on the  injured list. Best for Maynooth were Edwards, Twomey and Nolan brothers. On the Kilcock side best were McCormack, Moran, F.Gibbons and R O’Connell. The final score in the Leinster Leader cup match was 4-6 to 3-4 in favour of Maynooth.
There would be many more column inches devoted to GAA at county and club level as the summer of 1958 unfolded.

Liam Kenny in his regular feature 'Nothing New Under the Sun' looks at comments by the Leinster Leader GAA correspondent in his reporting of  Kildare challenge matches in the summer of 1958.

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