Meath had to withstand a determined Kildare second half fightback to book their place in the All Ireland Minor B Hurling Championship final at a windy Lomans Park Trim.
Meath 2-15 Kildare 2-12
The strong wind blowing into the town end had a big bearing on this very entertaining game.
Meath played with the elements in the opening half and after a sluggish start corner forward Mikey Mullen hit the games opening scores. The visitors dominated the next ten minutes and were rewarded with three points from Ciaran Tobin and the impressive James Burke (2 frees). Amazingly the visitors were not to score until the final minutes of the half as Meath hit 2-9 without reply.
Sean Martin's cross was finished to the net by Mullen for the games opening goal. Mullen added another three points and along with fine scores from Martin, and Potterton the Royals opened up a six point gap before the games second goal arrived.
Brian Dowling was on hand to finish to the Lilys net as Mullen Potterton, Dowling and team captain Jamie Leavey added points to sent Meath in at the break 2-10 to 0-4 in front.
Kildare now with the wind needed a good start to the second half but hit three bad wides in the opening five minutes.
Half forward Burke landed a free and a goal soon after from Brian Tobin gave Kildare hope. Potterton and Mullen pointed for Meath and midway through the second half their lead was still eight points.
Kevin Ahern had that lead down to five with Kildare's second goal and three points in quick succession from Burke had Meath in trouble.
Darragh Gilmartin steadied the home team with a fine solo effort but back came Kildare with another brace from Burke and the lead was down to the minimum as injury time loomed.
But thats as close as Kildare got. Meath midielder Evan Fitzgerald raced through the Kildare defence for an inspiring score and Mullen closed out the game with Meath's 15th point.
The Royals take on Down in the final next Saturday at a venue to be decided.
Meath scorers: Mikey Mullen 1-7, Brian Dowling 1-1, Nicky Potterton 0-3, Evan Fitzgerald, Darragh Gilmartin, Sean Martin and Jamie Leavey 0-1 each.
Kildare scorers: James Burke 0-10, Brain Tobin and Kevin Ahern 1-0 each, Sean Cullen and Ciaran Tobin 0-1 each
Refere: Shane Hynes Galway