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Dublin: 7 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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I’m looking forward to this one. RTE are showing the mouth-watering clash of the in-form Kildare and provincial rivals Meath. And – as you know – it’s in Navan.

Elsewhere, Limerick and Waterford meet in the Gaelic Grounds, Wicklow host Armagh in their intriguing replay and Antrim and Down clash at Casement Park.

Who do we fancy out there?

Weather update: it’s not raining- but is ‘blustery’ as Michael Lyster says, in Navan.

Cian Ward gets Meath on the scoreboard early on with a sweetly-struck free.

Rory McIlroy would be proud of that one says Tony Davis next to Darragh Maloney.

The ball’s quickly in the Meath net however but there’s a penalty awarded…

Doyle sends Murphy the wrong way to get the Lilywhites up-and-running in style. This is a frantic start.

Kildare 1- 0 Meath 0-2 Ward has taken his – and his side’s – second point. He collected a direct ball in, turned his man, and swept it over. He looks up for it – just like the rest in the ground this evening.

And, as I type, Seamus Kenny chips in with a another score to tie it up after seven minutes.

Meath 0-4 Kildare 1-0 Great point altogether there from Stephen Bray. He fielded wonderfully from a Joe Sheridan ball in, turned neatly and knocked it over with his left foor.

There’s not much a defender can do about that, says Davis.

So what’s happening elsewhere? Antrim are scoreless to Down’s 0-03;  Limerick 0-2 Waterford 0-0 and there could be a cracker in store in Aughrim: Wicklow 0-02 Armagh 0-02

Meath 0-4 Kildare 1-1 Callaghan makes it a draw again; he eventually takes a point when a goal seemed on initially.

Murphy in the Royals’ goal did brilliantly until the cavalry arrived and the Kildare man was forced to put it over the bar.

It’s now Armagh 1-2 Wicklow 0-5 which, Ger Gilroy reminds us, is live on Newstalk. It’s nice to have options in life isn’t it?

Padraig O’Neill drills a shot over the bar. The visitors are starting to assert myself.

As I type, O’Flaherty puts them two ahead – Kildare 1-03 Meath 0-4.

Flynn managed to block a goal effort from Ward. He had nothing else on his mind – typically – but one presumes he’ll drop the 45 over.

Yes, he strikes it over to end a 12-minute score drought for the Royals.

After a bit of a break in play, Fionn Dowling gets us up and running again with a point. Then after a silly foul from Andrew MacLochlainn, Cian Ward adds to his tally from the hands.

Kildare 1-4 Meath 0-6. One-point game.

The GAA inform us that it’s Antrim 0-4 Down 0-5. Paddy Cunningham, Justin Crozier and Kevin Niblock for Antrim.

James Kavanagh scores an absolutely gorgeous point from a tough angle, 30 yards out. Kildare 1-5 Meath 0-6 .

We had a few technical issues (tea on servers etc) – but we should be okay now for the rest of the evening.

While we were hitting the computer with a brolly, Kildare have gone 1-6 to Meath’s 0-7. We’re currently in the second minute of added time.

HALF-TIME Kildare 1-6 Meath 0-7

Meath should enjoying their half-time Jaffa cakes, just one point behind but forward Brian Farrell sliced a late shot well wide. In Aughrim, the teams are also in the dressing-rooms. Armagh 1-05 Wicklow 0-6.

The other ones? Down 0-6 Antrim 0-5; Limerick 0-9 Waterford 0-7. It’s all very interesting.

The Irish Examiner’s Fintan O’Toole is in the Gaelic Grounds. He tweets: “Waterford comeback leaves them only two adrift at half-time, 0-9 to 0-7. They hit four of the last five points in first-half. But Limerick have wind in 2nd-half, Seamus O’Carroll and Stephen Kelly excellent. Big potential in Collins and Ryan for 2nd-half.”

Follow him here

So, Kildare are two points up and have proven themselves to be a second-half side under Kieran McGeeney. Meath however have the benefit of the wind in the second half.

Ciaran Whelan and Kevin McStay reckon the Lilywhites have the upper hand; do you agree?

Just to underline that second-half impression, John Fogarty backs it up with stats: Kildare have ‘won’ their last 9 second-halves in championship football. The average margin? Almost 7 points.”

We’re about to get going in Navan. Let’s see if they make it 10.

Kildare 1-7 Meath 0-8. First blood Kildare. Left corner back Hugh McGrillen beats his man, comes in on his left and fires it over. Excellent stuff, says Tony Davis. And he’s not wrong.

With a goal between the sides, Meath peg one back through – who else? – Cian Ward.

Leighton Glynn has levelled it up in Aughrim: Wicklow 0-8 Armagh 1-5. And Ward almost added a goal to his tally here but his shot was knocked out for a 45. He slots it himself to make it Kildare 1-07 Meath 0-9.

Antrim ahead 0-7 to Down’s 0-6 while it’s now Wicklow 0-8 Armagh 2-5. Jamie Clarke gets in for his second goal to leave his side three clear, according to the GAA’s Twitter. The future’s now.

It’s level at the Gaelic Grounds too. Limerick 0-9 Waterford 0-9.

Back in Navan, Meath leave Kildare get back into the game through the concession of a stupid free. Doyle converts expertly despite some distraction from the home crowd. Almost immediately Shane O’Rourke makes a fantastic catch and an unbelievable kick over the bar. Kildare 1-8 Meath 0-10.

Meath 0-11 Kildare 1-8 It’s all square now… As our own Gavan Reilly tweets: “AWESOME team move leads to point from Seamus Kenny and the sides are level. Only one ‘second half team’ here.”

The Lilywhites need to step it up if they’re going to get out of here with a win.

Kildare 1-9 Meath 0-11 Emmet Bolton puts the visitors back in front – but he should probably have gone for the back of the net as the goal yawned in front of him.

Here’s another score-check; there’s smoke coming from my keyboard:

  • Down 2-8 Antrim 0-7
  • Limerick 0-10 Waterford 0-9
  • Armagh 2-7 Wicklow 0-9

They’re probably – like Apple products – obsolete almost immediately.

Meath have drawn level thanks to another Cian Ward free kick. This is breathless stuff now: Meath 0-12 Kildare 1-09.

Marty Clarke is reported to have scored a lovely goal for Down; Antrim look out on their feet.

He’s human! Cian Ward has been flawless tonight but he just dragged a free kick well wide. That’s seven wides for Meath tonight, Darragh tells us. So it’s still all level.

Shall we have another check through the regional juries like Song for Europe Saturday nights of yore? Yes, I think we will.

  • Down 2-9 Antrim 0-9
  • ]Kildare 1-9 Meath 0-12
  • Limerick 0-11 Waterford 0-9
  • Armagh 2-8 Wicklow 0-10

Again, this is what the CIA would call soft intelligence and is subject to change, improvement, complete denial.

For those interested in garrison games, UCD are drawing 2-2 with La Liga’s fourth-best side Villarreal. Not bad at all.

Emmet Bolton puts Kildare one point up – Jsames Kavanagh threaded it through really cleverly and the Lilywhites got themselves ticking over again.

Is this the start of the Kildare kick?

To answer my own question – like a college lecturer – yes it is the start of a Kildare kick it seems. They’ve now gone two points up. Kildare 1-11 Meath 0-12.

GOAL! Kildare 2-11 Meath 0-12 Bolton fists it in after a crisp move – he’s scored 1-2 in a flash. Is that it for Banty and the Royal County this year?

Here’s another score check thanks, this time, to Examiner Sport:

  • Down 3-13 Antrim 0-10
  • Kildare 2-11 Meath 0-12
  • Limerick 0-13 Waterford 0-9
  • Armagh 2-9 Wicklow 0-10

It’s full-time in Aughrim: Armagh 2-9 Wicklow 0-10. That’s probably that for one of the game’s legends as Micko and Wicklow’s summer ends.

In Navan, McGrillen sent a speculative ball towards Joe Sheridan but it hopped over the bar: Kildare 2-11 Meath 0-13.


It’s also now over up nort – Full time: Down 3-13 Antrim 0-10

FULL TIME: Kildare 2-11 Meath 0-14

FULL-TIME Limerick 0-14 Waterford 0-9: Gary Hurney was sent off for Waterford too crucially.

So by my calculations this is what we have to look forward to next week:

  • Cork v Down
  • Kildare v Derry/Donegal
  • Wexford v Limerick
  • Tyrone v Armagh

There’s some very tasty ones in there.

Limerick’s John Riordan and Sean Fleming of Waterford (INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan)

Kildare goal hero and RTE’s man-of-the-match is interviewed with his bit of crystal. Emmet Bolton: “We knew it would be a tough battle, especially against Meath – and they proved that in the last 10 minutes. At the end of the day we’re just glad to be in the next round of the qualifiers.” I’m glad I typed that out.

Ciaran Whelan and Kevin McStay are like two forwards going for the same ball constantly. I can’t hear either of them when they talk over each other. Does Arthur Murphy still do Mailbag?

And that’s your lot – I was hoping we’d hear from the respective managers but it’s not to be. I’ll tee off the fourth day of the British Open liveblog before Neil takes over and hopefully Darren Clarke gives us an interesting finish.

In the meantime, as well as everything, Niamh will have a minute-by-minute (if that’s now a noun) tomorrow afternoon of the GAA action. As they say in Almost Famous: it’s all happening.

Thanks for your company, keep the comments coming.


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