NFL 2: Kildare fall in final quarter against Royals
April 12, 2010
Although promotion hopes had already been dashed, Meath completed their National Football League Division 2 schedule on a winning note with five points to spare over Leinster rivals Kildare at Pairc Tailteann.
The margin was flattering as Eamonn O'Brien's side, in maintaining their 100 per cent home record, finished with a flourish to outscore the Lilywhites by 1-5 to 0-1 in the last quarter of an hour in a game played in ideal conditions.
A goal and two points of that 1-5 were scored by the returning Brian Farrell, who had earlier come on for his first taste of league action this year. The goal on 63 minutes was a fortunate score with Kildare 'keeper, Paul Flood, failing to deal with a hopeful punt from the right wing.
Farrell also slotted over two points from frees but the winners' top attacker was Joe Sheridan, who contributed four points, two in each half, from play. With both sides having only pride to play for, the exchanges in the first half were less than exciting.
There was never more than two points between the sides and they were on equal terms eight times. Kildare were ahead by 0-8 to 0-7 at the break. One of those points was hit by full-back Hugh McGrillen, who shot over from close to the Meath posts.
While Johnny Doyle hit eight of the Lilywhites' points, including three neat efforts from play, he was off target with no fewer than five shots at the posts. Also early in the second half the Allenwood man put a free over the bar only to have the 'score' cancelled for taking the kick from the wrong place.
Meath boss Eamonn O'Brien used a number of fringe players and afterwards he expressed satisfaction at the contributions of midfielder Shane Gillespie and wing-backs Gary O'Brien and Graham Reilly.
Reilly made his mark with a point in each half and Shane O'Rourke did likewise as his rehabilitation continued. The middle of the Meath defence looked vulnerable and on two occasions in the third quarter the home side could have conceded goals.
Midfielder Daryl Flynn went on a booming run the centre and his point could have been more. Later Ronan Sweeney exposed the Royal rearguard to raise the white flag.
Also around the same time Alan Smith beat Meath netminder Davy Lyons but the bar came to the 'keeper's rescue.
With the tempo increased in the second period, Meath overcame those let-offs to press ahead in the closing stages.
Meath - D Lyons; S McAnarney, J Macken, E Harrington; G Reilly (0-2), A Moyles, G O'Brien; M Ward, S Gillespie; S Kenny, J Sheridan (0-4), N Mooney (0-1); S Bray, J Queeney (0-3, 1 45, one free), S O'Rourke (0-2). Subs: B Regan (0-1) for Ward (half-time), P Byrne for Mooney, B Farrell (1-2, 2 pts frees) for Queeney (both 51 mins), C King for O'Brien (58 mins), M Burke for Moyles (66 mins).
Kildare - P Flood; G White, H McGrillen (0-1), E Bolton; K Cribbin, B Flanagan, M O'Flaherty; D Flynn (0-1), D Whyte; J Kavanagh, A Rainbow, R Sweeney (0-3); A Smith, E Callaghan, J Doyle.(0-8, 5 frees). Subs: P Kelly for Flanagan (19 mins), k Donnelly for Rainbow (60 mins), P O'Neill for Callaghan (62 mins).
Ref - E Kinsella (Laois).
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