GAA: Meath through to Leinster final after five-point victory over Kildare at Croke Park
Last Updated: 30/06/14 11:45am
Meath booked their place in the Leinster final with a 2-16 to 0-17 success over Kildare at Croke Park.
The Royal County surged into a 12-point lead early in the second half and although Kildare reduced arrears to four points with three minutes remaining, it proved too late.
Meath played the most impressive football, and more consistently too, with Stephen Bray helping himself to four points all from play while Dalton McDonagh scored a smashing goal early in the second half.
It came after a typically bursting run through the heart of the Kildare defence, who for long stages of the game found themselves defenceless against Meath’s attacking game.
Andy Tormey also converted a first-half penalty - and finished with 1-4 - which helped Meath into a 1-9 to 0-7 lead at half-time, and after that it was a case of Kildare playing catch up, while the clock ran down.
Kildare hit a succession of scores late in the second half, Pádraig O’Neill leading by example, chipping in with a couple of big scores from midfield; yet too much of their decision-making was poor, while Kildare’s wide count also mounted.
The Lilywhites did manage to finish far stronger than they started, revealing reserves of energy that simply wasn’t there in the opening stages.
Pádraig Fogarty made his presence felt, scoring 0-6, and Alan Smith also came off the bench to score two points that at least ensured Kildare were never entirely dead or buried.
However, Meath substitutes Joe Wallace and David Bray helped ensure their scores ticked over sufficiently enough until the end.
There was a wonderful goal chance for Tommy Moolick late on but he blazed over the bar, while Smith also saw a shot rebound off the crossbar as Meath held on for victory.
Meath: A Tormey 1-4 (1-0pen, 2f), S Bray 0-4, D Carroll 0-3, D McDonagh 1-0, P P O’Rourke (1f, 1 ’45), D Carroll 0-2 each, S O’Rourke, G Reilly, J Wallace, D Bray 0-1 each.
Kildare: P Fogarty 0-6 (2f), E Callaghan, P O’Neill 0-3 each, T Moolick, A Smith 0-2 each, N Kelly 0-1.