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3 goals and a 10 point win for Kildare in flying league start against Meath

Cian O’Neill’s side rebounded from that disappointing loss to Dublin.

Two goals for Kildare's Niall Kelly against Meath today - (file photo).
Two goals for Kildare's Niall Kelly against Meath today - (file photo).
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Kildare 3-17
Meath 0-16

Paul Keane reports from Páirc Tailteann

RESURGENT KILDARE HIT Meath early and hard in Navan as they roared to victory in the opening round of their Allianz football league Division 2 campaign.

Ben McCormack’s goal after just 14 seconds at Páirc Tailteann set the visitors on their way to a 10-point win with virtually the same lineup that lost out to Dublin’s development squad in the Bord na Mona O’Byrne Cup last month.

All but two of the players lined out against the Dubs last month and were much better this time, moving six points ahead after just 10 minutes and maintaining a healthy advantage over the Royals throughout.

Niall Kelly added Kildare’s second and third goals and finished with 2-2 while McCormack weighed in with 1-3 in total.

Meath simply couldn’t cope with the pace and movement of Kildare’s attack and slipped to a frustrating loss in what was new boss Andy McEntee’s first league game in charge.

They’ll want to bounce back next Sunday at home to Derry with McEntee insisting that a big improvement is ‘urgently’ required now.

Meath were always struggling after that slow start and trailed 1-2 to 0-0 after just four minutes.

Daniel Flynn, Paul Cribbin and Keith Cribbin all hit excellent points for Kildare and Kelly opened his goal scoring account in the 23rd minute.

It was a fine counter attacking move that ended up with the centre-forward slamming the ball past Jack Hannigan from a central position about 15 yards out.

Cillian O’Sullivan, Donal Lenihan and captain Graham Reilly ran the hard yards for Meath who improved approaching half-time to trail by 2-7 to 0-7.

The margin was down to five on two occasions in the third quarter but Kildare then took off and Kelly’s third goal after 48 minutes finished Meath off.

Kildare brought on all six of their permitted substitutes in the final 10 minutes or so as they cruised over the winning line with late points from Neil Flynn, Kelly, McCormack and Ollie Lyons.

Scorers for Kildare: Niall Kelly 2-2, Ben McCormack 1-3, Neil Flynn (0-1f), Paul Cribbin 0-3 each, Keith Cribbin 0-2, Daniel Flynn, Kevin Feely, Eoin Doyle, Ollie Lyons 0-1 each.

Scorers for Meath: Donal Lenihan 0-7 (0-5f), Graham Reilly 0-4, Alan Forde, Cillian O’Sullivan 0-2 each, B Menton 0-1.

Kildare

1. Mark Donnellan

2. Mick O’Grady
3. David Hyland
4. Ollie Lyons

5. Johnny Byrne
6. Eoin Doyle
7. Keith Cribbin

8. Kevin Feely
9. Tommy Moolick

10. Fergal Conway
11. Niall Kelly
12. Paul Cribbin

15. Ben McCormack
14. Daniel Flynn
13. Neil Flynn

Subs

20. Cathal McNally for Conway (61)
17. Peter Kelly for O’Grady (63)
18. Shea Ryan for Byrne (65)
23. Eamonn Callaghan for N Kelly (68)
24. Conor Hartley for D Flynn (69)
19. David Slattery for McCormack (69)

Meath

1. Jack Hannigan

4. Mickey Burke
3. Conor McGill
2. Donal Keogan

5. Brian Power
6. Shane McEntee
19. Alan Douglas

8. Cian O’Brien
9. Bryan Menton

10. Cillian O’Sullivan
11. Graham Reilly
7. Alan Forde

13. Eamon Wallace
14. Brian Sheridan
15. Donal Lenihan

Subs

17. David McQuillan for Burke (22, black card)
23. Ruairi O Coileain for Power (h/t)
22. Adam Flanagan for Douglas (h/t)
25. Bobby O’Brien for Sheridan (46)
24. Conor Downey for Wallace (52)
20. Willie Carry for McEntee (65)

Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)

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Paul Keane

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