Dempsey goal inspires Kildare
Kildare 1-12 Westmeath 1-8 Leinster MFC
Reigning champions Kildare advanced to the quarter-finals after a hard-fought win against a wasteful Westmeath outfit at Mullingar in a repeat of last year's provincial final.
The home team started the brighter with Darren Giles blazing a great goal chance wide in the opening minute but he atoned somewhat with a brace of outstanding points by the fourth minute. Overall, Westmeath should have been much more than two points to the good (0-4 to 0-2) at the end of the first quarter.
A converted free by Sean Dempsey and a superb individual point from Rory Feely had Kildare on level terms by the 24th minute. After Stefan Lawlor's initial shot was saved Dempsey found the net from the rebound to put his side into a lead they never relinquished. At the break, the Lilywhites led by 1-6 to 0-4.
The visitors were seven points up with just six minutes remaining, but a late bundled goal from corner-back Darragh Healy and the black carding of substitute Matthew Kelly made for a tense climax, with Kildare holding on. Tom Carr's troops now face the 'back door' route.
Scorers – Kildare: S Dempsey 1-2 (0-2fs), E O'Donoghue 0-3 (2fs), E Flynn, C Hartley 0-2 each, R Feely, B McCormack, E Boyle 0-1 each.
Westmeath: D Healy 1-0, D Giles 0-2, S Ward, D Conway, F Hynes, C Shanley (1f), J Quinn, G Murray 0-1 each.
KILDARE – T Foley; S Healy, M Hyland, C McConnell; J Flynn, P Mescal, C Earley; R Feely, M Bursey; E Flynn, C Hartley, S Lawlor; B McCormack, S Dempsey, E O'Donoghue. Subs: E Boyle for Bursey (h-t), P Murray for Dempsey (47), M Kelly for Hartley (53), J Corrigan for McCormack (56), E Lawless for Kelly (60, BC), A Scully for Earley (60).
WESTMEATH – K Fagan; B Sayeh, I Illunga, D Healy; E Fox, S Ward, D Conway; F Hynes, S Omukoro; C Shanley, D Giles, N Gavin; L Cassidy, J Quinn, G Murray. Subs: A Byrne for Cassidy (28), R Cunningham for Omukoro (h-t), M Darling for Ward (47), J Penrose for Murray (50), D Keena for Conway (56), S Duncan for Hynes (59).
REF – P Maguire (Longford).