Daragh Small reports from O’Connor Park
DANIEL FLYNN SLOTTED a second-half goal and Kildare advanced to the Leinster semi-finals with a comfortable 14-point victory over Laois at O’Connor Park in Tullamore.
Cian O’Neill’s side dominated the first-half and led by 0-12 to 1-2 at half-time – Donie Kingston goaled early for Laois but Flynn scored the crucial goal for Kildare after the interval.
Kildare have not won a Leinster title since 2000 but now they are just one game away from the decider and on the opposite side of the draw to the reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin.
They won the toss and captain Eoin Doyle chose to play with the strong breeze at their backs in the first-half, and although they built up a 0-12 to 1-2 lead at the break, it didn’t look good early on.
Evan O’Carroll dispossessed Ollie Lyons and fed the ball to Kingston who blasted a goal inside the opening minute for Laois.
But they only hit two more points in the first-half while Kildare gained the ascendency, with Kevin Feely and Tommy Moolick completely dominant in midfield.
Kevin Feely kicked their first point from a free in the third minute and full-forward Flynn ended the half with three points.
Once Lyons kicked them in front for the third time in the 24th minute they excelled through the gears and Paul Cribbin rounded off the first-half scoring to give them a comfortable seven-point lead at half-time.
Laois needed to score first in the second-half but David Slattery tapped over a Kildare effort in the 38th minute and although Donie Kingston slotted a second free shortly after that, they had left themselves with too much to do and Flynn’s strike sealed the win 13 minutes into the second-half.
Scorers for Kildare: D Flynn 1-3, N Kelly 0-3, C McNally 0-3, K Feely 0-2 (0-2f), P Cribbin 0-2, M Donnellan 0-1 (0-1 45), O Lyons 0-1, T Moolick 0-1, K Cribbin 0-1, D Slattery 0-1, J Byrne 0-1, F Dowling 0-1, E Callaghan 0-1.
Scorers for Laois: D Kingston 1-2 (0-2f), G Walsh 0-3 (0-1 45), E O’Carroll 0-1 (0-1f), A Farrell 0-1.
1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)
2. Mick O’Grady (Celbridge)
3. David Hyland (Athy)
4. Ollie Lyons (Celbridge)
5. Johnny Byrne (Allenwood)
6. Eoin Doyle (Naas)
7. Keith Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)
8. Kevin Feely (Athy)
9. Tommy Moolick (Leixlip)
10. Fergal Conway (Celbridge)
11. Niall Kelly (Athy)
12. Paul Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)
13. David Slattery (Confey)
14. Daniel Flynn (Johnstownbridge)
15. Cathal McNally (Johnstownbridge).
20. Eamonn Callaghan (Naas) for Conway (54)
19. Chris Healy (Two Mile House) for McNally (57)
17. Fionn Dowling (Suncroft) for Moolick (57)
21. Emmet Bolton (Eadestown) for Flynn (65)
18. Peter Kelly (Two Mile House) for O’Grady (65).
1. Graham Brody (Portlaoise)
2. Darren Strong (Emo)
3. Denis Booth (The Heath)
17. James Kelly (St Joseph’s)
5. Eoin Buggie (Stradbally)
6. Padraig McMahon (Ballyroan Abbey)
7. Damien O’Connor (Timahoe)
8. Brendan Quigley (Timahoe)
9. Colm Begley (Stradbally)
10. Alan Farrell (Ballylinan)
11. John O’Loughlin (St Brigid’s)
12. Niall Donoher (Courtwood)
13. Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard)
14. Donie Kingston (Arles-Killeen)
15. Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen).
20. Ambrose Doran (Graiguecullen) for Donoher (20)
21. Gary Walsh (Ballylinan) for O’Carroll (42)
23. Ross Munnelly (Arles-Kilcruise) for P Kingston (52)
26. Kevin Meaney (Arles-Kilcruise) for Quigley (65)
22. David Conway (Arles-Kilcruise) for Doran (65)
24. James Flynn (Ballyfin) for Kelly (66).
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath).