John Lawler shows his determination as he drives forward for Kildare during round 3 of the John Kerins Cup game against Meath . Pic: Sean Brilly
Under 20 John Kerins Cup Development League Round 3
By Robert Cribbin.
Kildare kicked the last six points as they secured a sensational victory over Meath in the Under 20 Development League at Dunganny on Saturday afternoon.
The last gasp success which saw Alex Beirne, Darragh Kirwan and Paudi Behan all finding the target ensures that Kildare advance to the Final.
For the most part Gay Campbell's outfit were excellent with first half goals from Luke Griffin and Shane Sullivan giving them a four point buffer at the break.
The advantage became six in the early stages of the second period and it wasn’t until Kildare made a host of changes that Meath found a way back in with three goals in ten minutes.
Not for the first time in this campaign though the young Kildare side finished strongly and they deservedly snatched a late victory.
Meath only needed a draw to qualify but it was Kildare who started the better with Shane O'Sullivan knocking over a 2nd minute free.
Meath replied with the next three points from Cian Rodgers, Luke Mitchell and Aaron Lynch.
Kildare got back level at 0-3 apiece with scores from Aaron Browne and Darragh Kirwan before Lynch edged Meath back in front.
Kildare then went up a level with Mark Cully storming forward in the 14th minute before offloading to Luke Griffin who found the net after originally hitting the post.
Sam McCormack extended the lead with a well taken score but Kildare could have been further clear had Darragh Kirwan not kicked a goalbound effort wide of the goal.
That miss looked crucial when the Royals scored four on the bounce with Mitchell, Rodgers and Lynch all on form.
Kildare finished the half in style with points from O'Sullivan and Kirwan and right on the stroke of half time O'Sullivan broke clear of the Meath defence and rounded Sean Brennan to get his side’s second goal.
As result Kildare led 2-6 to 0-8 at the break but two quickfire efforts from Darragh Kirwan soon pushed the advantage out to six.
Meath hit back in style though as they netted two goals in four minutes.
Despite those setbacks Kildare were still able to maintain their lead after points from Kirwan, Darren McDermott and Alex Beirne.
Kildare then made a host of substitutions and it seemed to upset their rhythm when Meath scored 1-4 without reply to go into a 3-12 to 2-11 lead.
Like the week before against the Dubs, Kildare didn’t pack it in and a brace from Kirwan left just two points between the sides entering stoppage time.
Meath then got a black card and with a man extra Kildare went for the jugular and it worked a treat with Beirne and Paudi Behan levelling matters before the Naas duo of Beirne and Kirwan kicked the winning scores to set up a League Final meeting with Cork this weekend.
Scorers: Kildare, Darragh Kirwan 0-7, Shane O'Sullivan 1-3 (2 frees), Luke Griffin 1-0, Alex Beirne 0-3, Aaron Browne 0-1, Paudi Behan 0-1, Darren McDermott 0-1, Sam McCormack 0-1.
Meath, Cian Rodgers 1-3, Matt Moyles 1-0, Daithi McKeon 1-0, Aaron Lynch 0-4 (3 frees), Luke Mitchell 0-3 (1 free), Cathal Hickey 0-1, Barry O'Connell 0-1.
KILDARE: Kyle Costello (Leixlip); Jack Hamill (Raheens), Cian Powell (Celbridge), John Lawler (Eadestown); DJ Earley (Monasterevan), Jack Collins (Two Mile House), Mark Cully (Carbury); Darren McDermott (Leixlip), Tony O'Connor (Two Mile House); Sam McCormack (Clane), Darragh Kirwan (Naas), Colm Joyce (Naas); Aaron Browne (Celbridge), Shane O'Sullivan (Clane), Luke Griffin (Naas).
Subs: Adam Conneely (Two Mile House) for DJ Earley (16 minutes); Sean Moore (Athy) for Jack Hamill (half time); Cathal McCabe (Maynooth) for Aaron Browne (38 minutes); Mark Grehan (Clogherinkoe) for Darren McDermott (39 minutes); Dan Coughlan (Kilcullen) for Colm Joyce (39 minutees); Alex Beirne (Naas) for Sam McCormack (39 minutes); Paddy McDermott (Naas) for Mark Cully (39 minutes); Eoin Curley (St Laurence's) for Cian Powell (42 minutes); Findlay Nairn (Kilcock) for Paddy McDermott (59 minutes); Paudi Behan (Kilcullen) for Luke Griffin (59 minutes).
MEATH: Sean Brennan; James O'Hare, Sean Bryan, Ben Wyer; Michael Murphy, Cathal Hickey, Conal Courtney; Dathi McKeon, Jack Flynn; Matt Moyles, Cian Rodgers, Paddy Matthews; Luke Mitchell, Aaron Lynch, Jordan Morris.
Subs: Conor Farrelly for Conal Courtney (16 minutes); Barry O'Connell for Paddy Matthews (half time); Conor Hartford for Michael Murphy (38 minutes); Alan Mulvaney for Matt Moyles (55 minutes); Shane Smith for Barry O'Connell (63 minutes).