Kildare finish with eight points on the trot to ease past Offaly
Kildare 2-14 Offaly 1-6
LAST year’s runners up, Kildare, scored the last eight points to book their place in the Leinster Under 21 semi-final at Hawkfield tonight.
Goals in either half by Chris Healy and Cein McMonagle put Kildare in charge before Offaly got back to within three points but Kildare pulled clear in the final quarter.
Despite playing into a strong wind during the first half, Kildare led 1-4 to 0-4 at the half time following an excellent goal by Chris Healy in the final minute before the break. Neil Flynn delivered an excellent ball into Healy and he turned away from James Lalor before shooting into the Offaly net.
Conor Hartley and Ben McCormack struck points in the second half either side of McMonagle’s 39th minute goal, just 30 seconds after coming on as substitute, to put Kildare eight points clear.
Offaly responded well though and points from Ruairi McNamee and Shane Tierney was followed by a 45th minute Gio Russo goal.
That looked like setting up a grandstand finale but instead, Kildare took complete control.
Ryan Houlihan, McCormack, Luke and Neil Flynn and Hartley all scored fine points in the final stages to round off an impressive win for Bryan Murphy’s team.
Kildare – D Campbell; E Bateman, D Maguire, P Mescal; R Houlihan 0-1, S Ryan, B Byrne; L Flynn 0-2, P Connell; C Hartley 0-2, B Kelly, M Sherry; B McCormack 0-2, C Healy 1-2, N Flynn 0-5 (2fs, 1’45). Subs: C Kavanagh for Sherry, 33 BC; C McMonagle 1-0 for Kelly, 38; R Feely for L Flynn, 52; C Scanlon for Healy, 57; M Hyland for Ryan, 58; J Costello for Houlihan, 60.
Offaly – J Colgan; D Dempsey, J Lalor, C Doyle; A Mahon 0-1, D Byrne, D O’Toole; O Cusack, R McEvoy; C Farrell, R McNamee 0-2, J Evans; J Walsh 0-1, A McDonnell, S Tierney 0-2 (1f). Subs: G Russo 1-0 for McDonnell, 16 BC; G Hutichon for O’Toole, 50; PJ Daly for McEvoy, 57; C Horan for Lalor, 59; J Lowry for Tierney, 59; A Heffernan for Farrell, 60.
Ref – S. Mulhare (Laois).