Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 7°C Friday 7 May 2021


36,689 Views 5 Comments

Hello and welcome to this evening’s Gaelic football liveblog.

There is renewed optimism around Kildare and Meath this year and the sleeping Leinster giants are battling it out for a spot in the provincial final against Dublin or Westmeath next month.

Action at Tullamore’s O’Connor Park gets under way at 7pm and the game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 5.

As always, feel free to contact us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

Here is a reminder of the teams that have been named by Cian O’Neill and Andy McEntee. We’ll let you know if there have been any alterations closer to throw-in.

Kildare XV

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, Captain)
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)

Meath XV

1. Paddy O’Rourke (Skryne)
2. Mickey Burke (Longwood)
3. Conor McGill (Ratoath)
4. Donnacha Tobin (Blackhall Gaels)
5. Padraic Harnan (Moynalvey)
6. Donal Keogan (Rathkenny)
7. Shane McEntee (St Peter’s, Dunboyne)
8. Bryan Menton (Donaghmore/Ashbourne)
9. Ronan Jones (St Peter’s, Dunboyne)
10. James Toher (Trim)
11. Cillian O’Sullivan (Moynalvey)
12. Eamon Wallace (Ratoath)
13. Graham Reilly (St Colmcille’s, Captain)
14. Bryan McMahon (Ratoath)
15. Donal Lenihan (St Peter’s, Dunboyne)

It’s a wonderful evening for football, and going by the most recent performances by these sides, the umpires will be kept busy tonight.

There have already been four games in the football championship today, all in the first round of the qualifiers. Here’s how they finished up:

  • Louth 1-10 Longford 2-15
  • Wicklow 3-10 Laois 2-16
  • Waterford 0-13 Derry 1-17
  • Sligo 0-21 Antrim 3-7

Just 15 minutes until throw-in now, how do you see this panning out? Kildare by four points for me.

It’s time for Amhrán na bhFiann.

There’s a cracking atmosphere at O’Connor Park, which must be one of the best surfaces in the country. Perfect weather for scoring football, let’s hope we get it.

Meath 0-1 Kildare 0-0

What a start by the Royals. Brian Menton wins the throw-in and runs at the heart of the Kildare defence before handing off to James Toher, who curls the game’s opening score over the bar after just 12 seconds.

A bad wide from Keith Cribbin from distance draws quite a cheer from the Royal supporters.

Meath are defending well, and there’s a good intensity to this already.

Eamon Wallace sends an effort wide off the outside of his left boot.

Meath 0-1 Kildare 0-1 

Cathal McNally gets the Lilywhites off the mark with four minutes on the clock with a tidy, curled effort from play.

Meath 0-1 Kildare 0-2

This is great to watch, McNally kicks his second from play, this one squeezing over the post.

Meath 0-2 Kildare 0-2

The game is settling down a bit now, a few careless wides from Kildare could prove costly.

Shane McEntee, son of manager Andy, fists the ball over to level matters once again.

Meath 0-2 Kildare 0-3

A beautiful score by the Lilies. Ollie Lyons burst out of defence at speed and hands off to Daniel Flynn around the Meath ’45. Flynn does the rest, splitting the posts with that superb left peg of his.

Meath 0-2 Kildare 1-4

GOAL for Kildare. Cathal McNally wins a great ball in the air ahead of corner-back creating a goal chance. O’Rourke gets a hand to it but McNally’s left-footed strike deflects under the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Feely adds another point just moments later to extend Kildare’s lead to five points with 15 minutes on the clock.

Meath 0-2 Kildare 1-5

This is turning into the Cathal McNally show, another excellent point from play by the corner-forward. It’s all Kildare right now.

Meath finally get a sniff of the Kildare goal but Mick O’Grady bravely throws his body in the way to scupper the Royal attack.

He’s still sprawled across the turf, he copped a very heavy hit by stopping Padraic Harnan in his tracks.

Meath 0-3 Kildare 1-5

Donal Lenihan finally ends Meath’s barren spell with a tidy effort from play. Twenty-three minutes gone.

Meath 0-3 Kildare 1-6

That’s what they’ve been missing. Paddy Brophy, who isn’t long home from a spell playing Aussie Rules, kicks his first score for Kildare in three years. A classic corner-forward score, winning ball in front and kicking on the turn.

Andy McEntee won’t be happy with the amount of space the Kildare full-forward line are finding themselves in.

Cillian O’Sullivan makes a great, surging run through the heart of the Kildare defence but eventually thwarted by a beautifully-timed shoulder. (29)

Meath 0-4 Kildare 1-8

Feely and Flynn scores for Kildare sandwich a second point from play by Lenihan. Kildare well on top here as we approach half-time. (32)

Kildare are creating scoring chances all too easily, they’ve already racked up 1-8 despite kicking 10 wides in the opening 33 minutes.

Meath 0-4 Kildare 1-9

GOAL CHANCE — A great opportunity for Niall Kelly after he did well to win his own ball. He fires low but his effort goes just wide of O’Rourke’s right-hand post.

The referee was playing advantage and calls it back for a short-range free, which Feely duly dispatches over the bar. (35)


HT: Meath 0-4 Kildare 1-10

Brophy kicks another excellent score from out on the right on the stroke of half-time, and the Lilywhites take a nine-point lead into the interval.

Plenty of work to do if Andy McEntee’s charges are to turn this one around.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

That was surprisingly one-sided. Kildare seem to have the edge in the physical exchanges and their forwards are winning ball that bit easier.

Meath are back out on the field ready to go, just waiting on Kildare.

And we’re back under way.

A hefty collision between David Slattery and Shane McEntee sees Kildare awarded a free in from about 40 metres out.

But Feely pulls this effort left and wide of the posts.

Meath 0-5 Kildare 1-10

Another great score from Lenihan, he’s comfortably been Meath’s best inside forward. A brother of Blackburn Rovers centre-half Darragh, there’s plenty of talent in those genes.

Meath 0-6 Kildare 1-10

Lenihan makes it four for the afternoon, this time from a free, cutting the margin back to seven points.

Meath 0-7 Kildare 1-10

40 — That’s more like it from Meath, and again Lenihan is heavily involved. He wins the ball well out in front, and hands off to substitute Ruairí Ó Coileáin, who replaced Eamon Wallace at half-time, and he slots the ball between the posts. Six in it.

Meath 0-8 Kildare 1-10

What an introduction by Ó Coileáin, another excellent score from play by the Navan O’Mahony’s man. Game on.

Meath 0-8 Kildare 1-11

43 — Slattery does well to earn a free 20 metres out, Feely makes no mistake.

Meath 0-8 Kildare 1-12

46 — Doyle and Flynn combine well and the full-forward curls over his third point of the afternoon. That will ease the Kildare nerves.

Meath 0-9 Kildare 1-12

49 — Brian Menton trims the gap back to six points with an excellent score from distance.

50 — Paddy Brophy is replaced by Eamonn Callaghan.

Meath 0-10 Kildare 1-12

51 — Menton is having a purple patch, the Kildare defence seems to stand off him and he takes full advantage, kicking another fine score.

Meath 0-10 Kildare 1-13

Feel slots another free from 20 metres out after a foul on McNally.

54 — A yellow card for Keith Cribbin after his knee catches Ó Coilleáin in the back.

56 — Sean Tobin is in for Graham Reilly, it’s been an afternoon to forget for the Meath skipper.

Both sides have been guilty of some sloppy wides in the last few minutes. Kildare really should be much further ahead. They’ve now had 13 shots off target today.

Meath 0-10 Kildare 1-14

Another excellent score by Flynn, this time off the right boot. He’s had a superb game.

Ten minutes to play.

Meath 0-10 Kildare 1-15

64 — Callaghan curls over an excellent score from out on the right, that should just about settle things.

Meath 0-11 Kildare 1-15

Ó Coilleáin adds another, his third since being introduced at half-time.


Meath 0-11 Kildare 2-15

68 — Daniel Flynn palms to the net after some excellent work by David Slattery. No way back for Meath from here.

Meath 0-12 Kildare 2-15

70 — Lenihan tags on another score from a placed ball.

We’re now into the first of four additional minutes.

Meath 0-12 Kildare 2-16

73 — Substitute Neil Flynn adds another score from a free. This has been very impressive from Kildare, bar the wide count.

Meath 0-13 Kildare 2-16

Mickey Burke gets a consolation score for the Royals.

Cian O’Neill will be delighted with that performance. Many thought Kildare and Meath were at a similar level ahead of today’s game but that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case.

Match report and reaction to follow, thanks for stopping by.

About the author:

Alan Waldron