KILDARE 1-18 LONGFORD 0-12
KILDARE’S minors completed the group stages with their fourth successive win in the Leinster Championship on Tuesday evening in Longford.
Although already assured of a semi-final place before the game, Kildare need to avoid defeat to be sure of topping the group.
They settled quickly into the game and scored the first three points inside the opening two minutes.
Longford replied with two points but five points in a row, including captain Alex Beirne brining his tally to four points from play, between the 16th and 22nd minute pushed Kildare into a 0-10 to 0-3.
The home side looked well off the pace but James Moran and Cian Dooner scored late in the half to reduce the gap back to five points at the break.
Kildare perhaps took their eye off the ball early in the second half and Longford hauled themselves back into the game with five successive points to tie the scores at 0-10 by the 36th minute.
Longford had chances to go ahead but away kicking three successive wides, the introduction of Sam Morrissey into the Kildare attack helped turn the game.
His first of four points put Kildare back and when a lovely, low, right footed shot by Beirne found the net Kildare led by 1-11 to 0-10 after 44 minutes.
That broke Longford’s hearts and the final quarter was all one way traffic as Kildare secured their fourth successive win.
Kildare now play Wicklow in the Leinster semi-final on Sunday 8 July in St Conleths Park at 2pm.
SCORERS – Kildare: A Beirne 1-5, S Morrissey 0-4, A Kennedy 0-3, M Cuirtin 0-2, J Smyth 0-2fs, D Costello 0-1, N Jackman 0-1
Longford: C Dooner 0-5 (4fs), K McGann 0-2, E McCormack 0-2, R Leonard 0-1f, D O’Connell 0-1
KILDARE: John Ball (Clane); John Lynch (Clane), Sean Hill (Kilcock), Jack Hamill (Raheens), Nick Jackman (Athy), Kevin Kelliher (Ballymore), Paddy McDermott (Naas); Liam Broderick (Ballymore), Drew Costello (Naas); Tom Browne (Naas), Alex Beirne (Naas), Michael McGovern (Raheens), Muiris Curtin (Rathangan), Aaron Kennedy (St Laurences), Jack Smyth (Carbury). Subs: Marcus Kiely (Two Mile House) for McGovern, h/t; Sam Morrissey (Naas) for Costello, 38; Dav Higgins (Sarsfields) for Kiely, 53
LONGFORD: Patrick Murray; Darren Moffat, Dario Ciglianio, Cian Nolan, Cian Belton, James Moran, Peter Dempsey; Jonathan Borland, Richard Prior; Euan Finneran, Eoghan McCormack, Keelin McGann, Reece Leonard, Darragh O’Connell, Cian Dooner. Subs: Conor Farrelly for Belton, 26; Adam Quinn for Borland, 47 b/c; Conor Leonard for Prior, 51; Mark O’Neill for Ciglianio, 57; Reece Reilly for Dooner, 59
REFEREE: Patrick Coyle (Meath)