Meath………………………… 5-9

Kildare ……………………….0-15

 

Is Eddie Who still around?

If Kildare scored five goals in a half to come from six points down and win by nine Christy Moore  would have the song written already, so the bard of Meath better get scribbling.

At half time there was a collective search amongst Royal County fans to locate tins of paint as so absolutely abysmal was the first half the option of watching gloss dry was a far better one than having ones eyes gloss over watching a further thirty five minutes of. not so much puke football, as football that made you want to puke.

Despite the fact Kildare led by 0-10 to 0-4 at the interval anyone who endured the turgid tripe served up deserved a Leinster medal of their own/

It was that bad that Dessie Farrell would have been considering how many players he could rest in the Leinster final providing they beat Laois.

But a bit like a Nobber farmer becoming a magician, we once saw one turn into a field! a revived, rejuvenated Royals emerged from the break and remembered they had a match to win.

Five fantastic finishes, admittedly two of which were gift wrapped by defensive errors, saw them win going away.

So frustrated did Kildare become that full back Shea Ryan was red carded by Conor Lane close to the finish.

It was a good call by Lane as it came at a time when many of his contemporaries might have let it go as the game was almost over, and rather than being reported for striking Ryan could justifiably be cited for attempted decapitation.

It was a remarkable turnaround by Andy McEntee’s men who have now scored a whopping 12 goals in just two championship games. They looked to be in big trouble when Kildare took a 0-10 to 0-4 lead into the interval, but second half majors from Matthew Costello, Jordan Morris, the outstanding Cillian O’Sullivan, Joey Wallace and Jason Scully eased them to victory.

While a repeat of their first half performance won’t suffice against either Dublin or Laois in the provincial final, the Royals’ second half display was hugely impressive with all but one point of their tally coming from play.

For Kildare, it was a spectacular meltdown after they had looked to have one foot in the Leinster final at half-time. Indeed, they would have been out of sight had they not kicked seven wides with the wind to their backs in the opening half.

With Jimmy Hyland to the fore, the Lilywhites raced into an early three-point lead before Shane Walsh opened the winners’ account in the 12th minute. Cillian O’Sullivan, who covered every blade of grass, reduced the deficit to the minimum before Jordan Morris, who has scored 4-12 in his last three games, levelled after the first water break.

Mattie Byrne and Thomas O’Reilly traded points before Kildare – who were dominant at midfield – scored six on the trot in the 10 minutes leading up to half-time per Paddy Brophy, Darragh Kirwan (two), Kevin Flynn and Jimmy Hyland (two).

Meath put seven goals past Wicklow a week ago and they rediscovered their goal-scoring touch after the restart when two in the space of a minute from Costelloe and Morris brought them back into contention. A Hyland free edged Jack O’Connor’s men two in front, 0-12 to 2-4, but the momentum remained with the Royals who grabbed a third goal in the 45th minute through O’Sullivan.

Substitute Daniel Flynn and David Hyland replied with points before Joey Wallace slammed home a fourth Meath goal after Ronan Jones had pounced on a Kildare handling error in front of the posts.

The Lilywhites had imploded and further points from Cathal Hickey and Shane McEntee pushed the Royals six ahead before Scully raised their fifth green flag in stoppage-time, just moments after Kildare had Shea Ryan sent off for a high challenge on O’Sullivan.