Kildare advanced to the Leinster U21 Football Championship semi final last night (Wednesday (6 March) with a comprehensive nine point win over Meath at Pairc Tailteann, Navan, writes TOMMY CALLAGHAN.
Level at the break, after Meath dominating for long periods, Kildare upped their game considerably on the resumption and blew The Royals away scoring a total of 1-11.
The home side had dominated the opening half going into a 0-6 to 0-2 lead after some 20 minutes. However a brilliant Kildare goal, scored by Niall Kelly after a trade mark solo run by Daniel Flynn had the visitors right back in it. Two more points from Liam McGovern and Niall Kelly saw The Lilies take the lead before the excellent Daniel Queeney tied them up at 0-7 to 1-4 at the break.
Kildare took a three point lead on the resumption with points from Pádraig Fogarty, Tommy Moolick and Niall Kelly before The Royals hit back with a Queeney goal on 43 minutes to tie it up.
However it was from here on that Kildare took control scoring 1-4 inside four minutes, the goal coming from Fogarty and while Eamonn Wallace replied with a point, Kildare kicked on hitting another four points without reply.
Kildare now take on Laois, fixed for Parnell Park on Wednesday 20 March (although Laois are attempting to get that game into Portlaoise, something hopefully Kildare will dismiss out of hand). Laois had an impressive 6-11 to 2-8 win over Wicklow while on the other side of the draw the shock of the season to date saw Longford knock out All Ireland champions and hot favourites to go all the way, Dublin, on a score line of Longford 1-6 to 1-5. Longford now take on Wexford who defeated Westmeath after extra time 2-10 to 0-15.
Kildare, Pádraig Fogarty 1-4, Niall Kelly 1-2, Paddy Brophy 0-3, Liam McGovern 0-2 (1 frees), Seán Hurley 0-2 (45), Tommy Moolick 0-1, Fionn Dowling 0-1.
Meath, Daniel Queeney 1-4 (3 frees), Eamonn Wallace 0-2, Brian McMahon 0-1 (1 frees), Cian O’Brien 0-1, Shane Fox 0-1,
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan (Maynooth); Michael Konstantin (Celbridge), Jonathan Byrne (Allenwood), Barry Egan (Clane); David Hyland (Athy), Fergal Conway (Celbridge), Seán Higgins (Maynooth); Tommy Moolick cpt. (Leixlip), Daniel Grehan (Clogherinkoe); Liam McGovern (Athy), Niall Kelly (Athy), Daniel Flynn (Johnstownbridge); Paddy Brophy (Celbridge), Fionn Dowling (Suncroft), Pádraig Fogarty (St. Laurence’s). Subs: Seán Hurley (Johnstownbridge) for Daniel Grehan (19 minutes); Conor Murphy (Clane) for Fionn Dowling (56 minute); Hugh Mahon (Athy) for Niall Kelly (56 minute); Paul Cribbin (Johnstownbridge) for Daniel Flynn (59 minute); Daragh McGlynn (Leixlip) for Fergal Conway (62 minute).
MEATH: Conor McHugh; Simon Carty, Conor McGill, David McQuillan; Brian Dillon cpt., Brian Moore, Neil Shortall; Conor Sheridan, Cian O’Brien ; Daniel Queeney, Conor Downey, Shane Barry; Eamon Wallace, Bobby O’Brien, Bryan McMahon. Subs: Fergus Toolin for Neil Shortall (half time); James Togher for Cian O’Brien (40); Paddy Fox for Bobby O’Brien (43 minute); Harry Rooney for Conor Sheridan (48 minute); Donal Landy for Shane Barry (53 minute);
Referee: Anthony Nolan, Wicklow.