Meath beat Kildare to reach Leinster football final

Updated: July 2, 2012

Meath are through to the 2012 Leinster Final after a six point win over Kildare in Croke Park on Sunday.

Following a spring of discontentment, and early Championship struggles against Carlow, Seamus McEnaney seems to have turned a corner and is now just 70 minutes away since their first Leinster title since 2010, and only their third since 1999.

Much of the headlines heading into the game surrounded the inclusion of Seanie Johnston in the Kildare squad. The former Cavan’s man championship debut becoming possible after a 90 second Hurling cameo yesterday for Coll Dubh which made it possible to feature in the semi final.

In the end Johnston did not feature which only adds to the bemusement surrounding his inclusion especially as Kildare were chasing the game late on and failed to score in the final 14 minutes.

Kildare made the better start with James Kavanagh firing over inside the first minute before Emmet Bolton made it 0-02 to 0-0 after six minutes.

Meath were struggling to get into the game and missed a couple of chances before they got their first point through Damien Carroll before Joe Sheridan levelled matters.

Alan Forde and Brian Farrell put Meath two ahead but the sides were level once again when firstly Mickey Conway and then the evergreen John Doyle scored points.

Meath continued the pile on the pressure and they were unlucky to go just the one point up at the break with a late Sheridan score, his second of the afternoon putting them 0-08 to 0-07 ahead.

Just like in the first half Kildare came out all guns blazing and they moved 0-10 to 0-08 ahead thanks to scores from Alan Smith and Tom O’Connor.

Point from Graham Reilly, Sheridan and Farrell in between an effort from Kildare’s Smith levelled the game heading into the final stages.

The game then swung Meath’s way when Daryl Flynn was sent off for the Lilywhites for two yellow cards however despite being down to 14 men Kildare scored a goal through Conway to go 1-11 to 0-12 ahead.

It would prove to be their last score however as Meath finished with seven unanswered points with Farrell, Reilly, Stephen Bray and Jamie Queeny adding to a goal from Peadar Byrne goal to hand the Royal County a first win over Kildare in 5 years.

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