Fitzpatrick magic sends Lilies to final
STYLISH Wayne Fitzpatrick led the scoring charge as holders Kildare advanced to the provincial final at Dunganny.
Fitzpatrick contributed seven points – five from play – in a man-of-the-match display that underpinned a fully deserved victory.
The Lilywhites played with 14 for the entire second half after centre-back Paul Mescall picked up a second yellow card shortly before the break. However, the hosts – Leinster winners five times in the past six years – were unable to take advantage.
Kildare, who led 0-5 to 0-3 at the break, were denied a goal when Meath 'keeper Evan Mullally made a fine save to thwart Bank Agunsoye on 28 minutes.
By the end of the third quarter that lead had extended 0-8 to 0-3 before Ryan Moore notched Meath's opening score of the half on 47 minutes.
They reduced the deficit to three points on two occasions near the end but never threatened a goal.
SCORERS – Kildare: W Fitzpatrick 0-7 (2f), N Flynn 0-3 (2f). Meath: R Lynch 0-3 (2f), R Moore 0-2, F Newman (f), D Toner 0-1 each.
KILDARE – C Shannon; L O'Rourke, J Hendy, C Coyle; J Flynn, P Mescall, B Cawley; M Byrne, C Davin; B McGrath, N Flynn, J Connolly; J Corrigan, W Fitzpatrick, L McCabe. Subs: B Agunsoye for Byrne (5), J Cox for McCabe (13), D Kavanagh for Flynn (57), L Moore for Corrigan (58).
MEATH – E Mullally; M Flood, R McDonagh, B O Fionnagain; S Caloe, C Carton, J Reilly; D Toner, G Kavanagh; R Moore, R Lynch, F Newman; S Maxwell, P O'Connell, S Byrne. Subs: K Fenton for Maxwell (38), A Leech for Caloe (45), G Dolan for Byrne (54), A Maguire for Moore (57), N O'Neill for McDonagh (59).
REF – R Malone (Dublin).