Kildare and Meath set up Leinster semi-final clash
Kildare will face Meath in the Leinster SFC semi-final after both sides won their quarter-finals in contrasting style against Laois and Louth respectively.
Kildare hammered Laois by 14 points in a one-sided contest in Tullamore.
Donie Kingston grabbed a goal for Laois in the opening minute but from then on it was all one-way traffic as Kildare ran out 1-21 to 1-07 winners.
Laois were second to every ball and they simply couldn’t cope with the movement of the Kildare forwards.
Nine different players raised a white flag for the Lilywhites in the first half in an impressive display.
Daniel Flynn added a goal to their tally in the second half and he top scored with 1-3 as Kildare laid down a marker ahead of the semi-final.
Meath produced a very strong finish to see off Louth comfortably in the end on a scoreline of 0-27 to 3-09 but at one stage in the second half, the Royals trailed by two points at Parnell Park.
The match will be remembered for a bizarre mistake from Meath goalkeeper Paddy O’Rourke. O’Rourke’s poor kick-out presented Louth substitute Ronán Holcroft with an opportunity – O’Rourke seemed to think Holcroft’s effort was sailing over the bar, only to watch on in horror as it dropped into the net.
The Meath crowd couldn’t believe their eyes as that goal put Louth in front early in the second half.
They needn’t have worried however, as captain Graham Reilly grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck with a virtuoso display.
Andy McEntee’s men hit seven points in a row – including three in four minutes from Reilly – midway through the second half to take control of the game and kill off any chance of a Louth upset.
Meath’s superior fitness and firepower saw them rack up an impressive tally of 0-27 in the end but they will have to sharpen up at the back ahead of their meeting with Kildare.