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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 19 October, 2018
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Meath lay down marker for Leinster final by scoring 2-16 against Kildare

Dublin and Wexford watched on as Meath advanced to the provincial decider.

Meath's Donal Keogan celebrates at the final whistle in Croke Park.
Meath's Donal Keogan celebrates at the final whistle in Croke Park.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Meath 2-16
Kildare 0-17

MEATH LAID DOWN a marker for this year’s Leinster championship after dismantling Kildare in today’s provincial semi-final.

After outscoring Kildare 1-4 to 0-0 in the first five minutes of the second-half, Meath went on to show an extra gear for which Kildare had no answer.

The Royal County now go into a Leinster final, full of confidence and with Micky Newman to welcome back.

Paddy O’Rourke’s 45 started off an enthralling opening half, where Meath won nearly all of the key battles.

On four minutes, midfielder Shane O’Rourke got his name on the scoresheet following a missed goal chance by Dalton McDonagh.

O’Rourke in the middle, the imperious Kevin Reilly in the Meath full back-line and, in particular, Stephen Bray set the platform for a five-point lead at the interval.

It could have been worse for Jason Ryan’s side, as Stephen Bray spurned two goal chances, Joey Wallace (younger brother of Eamonn) rattled the crossbar with another, while McDonagh would also miss two more. But the breakthrough finally came when McDonagh was adjudged to have been dragged down by Mick Foley on 34 minutes.

Dalton McDonagh celebrates scoring his side's second goal Ê Dalton McDonagh after scoring the Royal County's second goal. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Andrew Tormey comfortably slotted the resulting penalty, and Kildare were left with a mountain to climb for the second half.

One man who was causing the Meath rearguard problems was Padraig Fogarty. The youngster scored Kildare’s opening four points, as the teams went point-for-point before Meath upped their intensity with a trio of scores on the half hour, and then came the penalty.

Stephen Bray started off the second half much as he ended the first; he was the provider for Damien Carroll’s third point from play after 41 seconds.

Then McDonagh finally got the goal his hard work warranted, as the Kildare full-back line were far too static in dealing with a high ball launched on top of them.

With the game slipping away, the Lilywhites were forced to change both their full-back and midfield - and as Shane O’Rourke tired and Kevin Reilly was forced off with an injury they added points to regain some pride.

Tommy Moolick and Padraic Harnan Kildare's Tommy Moolick attacks under the attention of Padraic Harnan. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Tommy Moolick blazed over two goal chances, as did Alan Smith with another, and both players were integral in a mini Kildare revival.

But even with the late introduction of Tomas O’Connor it was always a case of too little too late and so Kildare’s Leinster championship is over.

Scorers for Kildare: Padraig Fogarty 0-6 (0-4f); Eamonn Callaghan, Padraig O’Neill 0-3 each, Alan Smith, Tommy Moolick 0-2 each; Niall Kelly 0-1.

Scorers for Meath: Andrew Tormey 1-3 (1-0 pen 0-2f); Stephen Bray 0-4; Damien Carroll 0-3; Dalton McDonagh 1-0; Patrick O’Rourke 0-2 (0-1 ’45 0-1f); Shane O’Rourke, Graham Reilly, Joey Wallace, David Bray 0-1 each.

Kildare

1. Mark Donnellan – Maynooth
2. Hugh McGrillen – Celbridge
3. Michael Foley – Athy
4. Emmet Bolton – Eadestown
5. Ollie Lyons – Celbridge
6. Fergal Conway – Celbridge
7. Keith Cribbin – Johnstownbridge
8. Tommy Moolick – Leixlip
12. Sean Hurley – Johnstownbridge
10. Cathal McNally – Johnstownbridge
9. Padraig O’Neill – St Laurences
11. Eamonn Callaghan – Naas
13. Niall Kelly – Athy
14. Padraig Fogarty – St Laurence’s
15. Paddy Brophy – Celbridge

Subs

23. Alan Smith (Sarsfields) for Brophy (33)
17. Gary White (Sarsfields)for Hurley (43)
18. Ciaran Fitzpatrick (Kilcock) for Foley (43)
22. Eoin Doyle (Naas) for Bolton (46)
20. Eoghan Flaherty (Carbury) for McNally (49)
26. Tomas O’Connor for Fogarty (66)

Meath

1. Patrick O’Rourke – Skryne
19. Eoin Harrington – Wolf Tones
3. Kevin Reilly – Navan O’Mahony’s
6. Donal Keogan – Rathkenny
5. Padraic Harnan – Moynalvey
9. Bryan Menton – Donaghmore/Ashbourne
10. Donncha Tobin – Blackhall Gaels
8. Brian Meade – Rathkenny
11. Shane O’Rourke – Simonstown Gaels
7. Damien Carroll – Ballinabrackey
20. Dalton McDonagh — Na Fianna
12. Andrew Tormey – Donaghmore/Ashbourne
13. Graham Reilly – St Colmcille’s
14. Stephen Bray – Navan O’Mahony’s
15. Bryan McMahon – Ratoath

Subs

25. Joey Wallace (Ratoah) for McMahon (7)
18. Adam Flanagan (Clonard) for Meade (49)
21. Seamus Kenny (Simonstown Gaels) for Carroll (58)
22. David Bray (Navan O’Mahony’s) for McDonagh (61)
4. Michael Burke (Longwood) for Kevin Reilly (63)

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