Kildare 0-8 -
KILDARE secured an early season showdown against Dublin this Saturday when they booked their place in the Leinster Minor Football League final by overcoming Meath in a tough encounter in Ashbourne last Saturday (23 February).
The final scoreline doesn’t really do the Kildare performance justice, particularly an excellent opening half. Points from Ronan Mulligan, Tommy Cribbin and Conor Davin inside the opening 15 minutes got the young Lilywhites on their way.
Meath came back into the game with points from Kevin Traynor and Harry Purcell but it was Kildare who finished the half as they had started and scores from Davin, Ryan Houlihan and Mick Kelly left them 6-2 ahead at half-time.
The second half proved to be a much tighter affair. Davin’s point early in the second half put Kildare further ahead but they had to dig deep over the next 20 minutes as the home team came storming back into the game. Four points in a row from Stephen Duffy and Kevin Ryan (three) cut the gap back to just a single point and put the game very much in the balance.
Kildare were handed a glorious opportunity to put the game to bed when Davin was fouled inside the square with five minutes to go. Meath goalkeeper Andy Markey kept in his team in the game though with a crucial save from Wayne Fitzpatrick’s penalty.
Any nerves were finally settled when Neil Flynn popped over a late insurance score and Kildare can take a lot from this battling performance ahead of a meeting with Dublin this Saturday (1 March) in Parnell Park at 11am.
KILDARE: Jonathan Reeves (Ardclough); Cian McConnell (Sarsfields), Eoghan Bateman (Naas), Diarmuid Hartley (Sarsfields); John Joe Mahon (Castledermot), Niall Fleming (Round Towers),Jamie Connolly (Moorefield); Mark Sherry (Two Mile House), Rory McDermott (Naas); Ryan Houlihan (Moorefield) 0-1, Conor Davin (Maynooth) 0-3, Tommy Cribbin (Clane) 0-1; Michael Kelly (Athy) 0-1, Ronan Mulligan (Kilcock) 0-1, James Kelly (Carbury). Subs Paschal Connell (Athy) for McDermott, 26; Wayne Fitzpatrick (Monasterevan) for J Kelly, 35; Neil Flynn (Maynooth) 0-1 for Cribbin, 39; Paul Mescal (Maynooth) for Fleming, 39; Aaron McConville (Round Towers) for Mulligan, 47; Jack Briody (Rathangan) for Hartely, 49; Alan Scully (Sarsfields) for M Kelly, 49.