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McGeeney content as Lilies into Cup final

both Kieran McGeeney and Pat Flanagan wore cloaks of quiet satisfaction after yesterday's 0-12 to 0-8 O'Byrne Cup semi-final win for the Lilywhites at Cusack Park.

Kildare boss McGeeney pointed to his side's final-quarter power play that yielded four points to secure a passage to a final date with Louth, while Westmeath manager Flanagan watched a very experimental side dominate for large periods.

The sides were tied on eight points each when Kildare took over. Fionn Dowling hit three points in that period, including one from a penalty that was harshly awarded against Darren Quinn in the Westmeath goal when he came out to block Eamonn Callaghan's shot.

Dowling opted to take his point and put three between the sides with that effort before sub Emmet Bolton sealed the win late on to set up a showdown with the Wee County, who shocked the Lilywhites in the Leinster SFC in Navan last year.

"I'd be happy with that performance," McGeeney said afterwards. "Pat has a good defensive system there and he wants to tighten things up after last year and he's doing that. He's playing on the counter-attack, dropping (Denis) Glennon back deep. And we were playing into their hands.


"In the second half we were a wee bit better, we ran the ball and held on to possession more. It was an even second half but, in the last 15 minutes, we had scoring chances and took them. And in tight games that's what you want to see when the game is on the line. I'm happy with that result, I like close games that you come away with. It will probably help us more than any of the other matches so far."

Kildare's four-point blitz came towards the final quarter and included the penalty, which Flanagan was unhappy with.

"It was strange, to say the least," said the Westmeath boss. "I've never seen a penalty given for a goalkeeper blocking like that before.

"He wasn't anywhere close to the player. There were a few decisions we would have felt aggrieved by but it wasn't the referee that beat us today.

"We've always said that our main objective is on February 6 against Louth and we did two very hard sessions on Tuesday and Thursday so if we were going to go out and out for this game we probably would have relaxed a little bit during the week. But our objective is two points against Louth."