Leinster MFC Group 2 round three
Kildare eased past Laois on Wednesday evening to climb to the top of group 2 in the Leinster Minor Football Championship and ensure themselves of a place in the Leinster semi-final, with Dublin the most likely opponents to come in that game.
The Lilywhites still have a game to play away to Longford next week, but after three wins from three, Kildare can’t be caught at the summit of their table.
They shook off a fairly poor first half performance to score 4-7 in the second, and their attacking prowess bodes well ahead of stiffer tests to come.
The first half was 30 minutes of football that won’t live long in the memory for many of the 31 players who were involved in it, as both sides struggled badly in front of goal. That was through both missed shots and hesitancy, allowing defenders to get challenges in to put them off or spill the ball.
Perhaps that was due to the long break between fixtures that was allowed during the Leaving Cert exam period, but it truly was turgid stuff at times. It finished with Kildare leading 1-3 to 0-1, but the Lilywhites had kicked nine wides and also dropped a couple of shots short during the first half which allowed Laois remain in the game.
The main positive for the home side was the performance of their entire full-back line as John Lynch, Sean Hill and Jack Hamill all kept their men extremely quiet, and the fact that the O’Moore men didn’t score from play will at least have been pleasing for manager Padraig Carbury.
Tom Browne had the first sniff of goal in the fifth minute when Aaron Kennedy played him through with a brilliant pass, but the Naas man pulled his shot wide. Paddy McDermott eventually got the scoring underway after eight minutes, and Kildare soon rattled the net as Browne intercepted a line ball deep in Laois territory before playing to in to Kennedy who finished high to the net with extreme composure.
Ross Bolger got Laois off the mark with a 15th minute free, and the only other scores to arrive in the first half came through the boot of dual player Muiris Curtin who landed a couple of points from frees, the last of which came nine minutes before the break.
The second half started in whirlwind fashion as the game opened up immensely as it turned into a really enjoyable contest. Laois, having failed to hit the target from open play in the first half, turned their form around to score with four of their first five attempts on goal. Josh Lacey opened their account from play with an excellent score, before Daragh Galvin added another soon after.
Curtin responded for Kildare with a good point for the home side, but Sean Michael Corcoran and Mark O’Connell added further scores for the O’Moore men as they closed the gap to just two points by the 36th minute.
Kildare went on a scoring spree over the next 10 minutes as they plundered 3-4 without response to kill the game as a contest. Curtin fisted over a point before Browne teed up wing-back Nick Jackman to finish superbly to the corner of Tom Wright’s net to push Kildare two goals clear. A fine point from Liam Broderick followed, before the midfielder teed up Browne who hit the back of the net for the second time to put the result beyond doubt.
Drew Costello came off the bench with a third of the game to go, and the Naas man rifled home a brilliant goal from 15 metres out with his first touch of the ball to grab Kildare’s fifth and final goal.
Damon Larkin bagged a consolation goal for Laois late on, but the Lilywhites eased the game out with points from McDermott, Michael McGovern and Jack Smyth to win by 16 points.
Scorers for Kildare: T Browne 2-0, M Curtin 0-4(2f), D Costello, A Kennedy and N Jackman 1-0 each, M McGovern and P McDermott 0-2 each, L Broderick, M McGovern and J Smyth 0-1(1f) each.
Scorers for Laois: D Larkin 1-0, R Bolger 0-2f, D Galvin, S Corcoran, J Lacey and M O’Connell 0-1 each.
John Ball; John Lynch, Sean Hill, Jack Hamill; Nick Jackman, Kevin Kelliher, Paddy McDermott; Liam Broderick, Marcus Kiely; Tom Browne, Alex Beirne, Michael McGovern; Muiris Curtin, Aaron Kennedy, Sam Morrissey.
Subs used: Jack Smyth for Morrissey HT, Drew Costello for Kiely 46mins, Daniel Caulfield for McDermott 51mins, Davy Higgins for Beirne 54mins, Sean Englishby for Jackman 56mins, Paddy Wall for Broderick 60mins.
Tom Wright; Sean Greene, Michael Bennett, Ciaran Byrne; Niall Carey, Cathal Bennett, Seth Burns Mooney; Ben Conroy, Sean Michael Corcoran; Daragh Galvin, Damon Larkin, Cathal Doyle; Seamus Farrelly, Sean O’Neill, Ross Bolger.
Subs used: Josh Lacey for O’Neill 15mins, Mark O’Connell for Farrelly HT, Eamonn Delaney for Galvin 40mins, Conor Donlon for Mooney 46mins.
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