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Kehoe Cup final: Goals see Lillies lift laurels

10 February 2013

Kildare's Patrick Curtin with Meath's Mark O'Sullivan during the Kehoe Cup final at Lomans Park Trim. TO VIEW A SELECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS GAME CLICK HERE
The sides shared 26 scores in the Bord na Mona Kehoe Cup final on Sunday at Trim where second-half goals from Paul Divilly and Tony Murphy earned Kildare a first outright success in the competition at Meath's expense.

Kildare ....... 2-11
Meath ......... 0-13

From the Meath's perspective the goals were bad concessions, but rewarded Kildare's economy with Willie Sunderland's charges recording just seven wides to the hosts' 16.

The opening goal arrived in the 43rd minute when team captain Paul Divilly's 45-metre free dropped into the Meath net to leave it 1-6 to 0-8.

Within a minute the sides were level for the sixth and final time as substitute Peter Durnin pointed.

Then Kildare made a decisive break. Another Divilly free had the visitors back in front before Tony Murphy connected with a Gerry Keegan delivery to steer the sliotar to the net at the town goal.

That left four points between the sides, 2-7 to 0-9, with nearly a quarter of the game to play.

Try as they did Meath with Stephen Clynch leading the charge from centre-half-half couldn't bridge the gap in their bid to win the competition for a seventh time and first since 2011.

The vigilance of the Kildare rearguard and goalkeeper Paddy McKenna stymied Meath attempts to register a goal. Substitute Gary Kelly was off target with his attempt to revive the Royals with about five minutes remaining.

Paddy Conneely scored seven points for Cillian Farrell's men but sent a point attempt wide from a free slightly to the left of the goal with the game entering stoppage time.

It was left to Durnin to post Meath's final score but that was countered by another Divilly free in the last act of the game.

Meath had the breeze at the backs when playing into the town goal in the opening 35 minutes.
During this time the teams were level on five times before two Conneely points (one free) boosted Meath to a 0-7 to 0-6 interval advantage.

All of Kildare's first period scores came from play with five players getting off the mark. Mark Moloney - who opened the scoring - registered twice.

Conneely landed three frees for Meath to go along with his effort from play in the opening half. Stephen Clynch, Adam Gannon and Mark O'Sullivan were the other Meath scorers in the opening half.

O'Sullivan opened the Meath account - with a magnificent effort from the left - to counter Moloney's opener. Gannon's first score earned Meath the lead for the first time.

It was quickly countered another Moloney's point. Nearly 16 minutes elapsed before we had the first score from a free (Conneely). McKeena the the busier of the two 'keeper as Kildare rarely tested Shane McGann.

A fine move started by corner-back Cormac Reilly, continued by James Toher put Eoin Marsh through on goal with half-time approaching. McKenna was equal to the Kilmessan man's effort.

Had it gone in Meath would have been five points ahead. Instead they held only a minimum margin lead at the break having registered ten first-half wides.

Meath - Shane McGann; Cormac Reilly, Damien Healy, Willie Mahady; Shane Brennan, James Toher, Alan Watters; Stephen Donoghue, Johnny Meyler; Eoin Marsh, Stephen Clynch (0-1), Paddy Conneely (0-7, 4fs); Adam Gannon (0-2), Mark O'Sullivan (0-1), Barry Slevin. Subs -
Bart Hanley for Meyler (25), Peter Durnin (0-2) for Slevin (31), G. Kelly for Watters (45).

Kildare - Paddy McKenna; Paul Keegan, Fiachra Ó Muineacháin, Patrick Curtin; Kieran Divilly (0-1), Richie Hoban, Niall Ó Muineacháin; Danny Butler, Eanna O'Neill (0-1); Mark Moloney (0-2), Paul Divilly (capt) (1-4, 1-3 fs), Peader Downey (0-1); Tony Murphy (1-1), David Kennedy, Gerry Keegan. Subs - R. Kelly (0-1) for O'Neill (48), Bernard Day for Kennedy (55).

Referee - John Keenan (Wicklow).