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Returning ace Conway helps Lilies put end to Louth reign

Kildare dethroned the Leinster junior champions following a confident performance in Newbridge last night.

The home side made a blistering start, with the returning Mikey Conway at the heart of most of their good work, and were ahead -- 1-6 to 0-0 -- after 20 minutes.

With Paddy Dunne driving the home team on, Kildare scored the first four points of the game and the big midfielder teed up Darroch Mulhall for the game's opening goal in the 12th minute.

Despite Kildare's good opening, Louth were handed a way back into the game when they were awarded a rather soft penalty, which David Reid converted, and there were five points between the teams at the half-time break.

Conway was making his first appearance in a Kildare jersey since suffering a serious knee injury in 2009 and he showed his class just 30 seconds after the restart, when his clever pass presented Ollie Lyons with his side's second goal.

Louth kept battling away during the second half and the accurate David Reid kept them in touch, but they never looked likely to close the gap.

Kildare had the greater class up front through the likes of Conway, Mulhall and Ciaran Kelly, while Dunne was Man of the Match in midfield.

In this kind of form, Kildare will be formidable opponents for any team in this competition.

Scorers -- Kildare: D Mulhall 1-3 (2f), C Kelly 0-5, O Lyons 1-0, J Gately 0-3 (1f), M Conway 0-2 (1f), P Dunne 0-1. Louth: D Reid 1-5 (1pen, 3fs), B Osbourne 0-2, B Donnelly 0-1 (1f).

Kildare -- R Eyres; D McEvoy, C Fitzpatrick, O Lyons; M Kelly, M Scanlon, J Doyle; W Heffernan, P Dunne; J Lambe, M Conway, C Kelly; D Mulhall, P Meagher, J Gately. Subs: T Moolick for Meagher (36).

Louth -- C Lynch; P Rath, R Brennan, G Hoey; D Bracken, L Shevlin, J Craven; B Donnelly, Sean O'Neill; J McEneaney, D Reid, B Osbourne; K Rogers, C O'Hanlon, E O'Neill. Subs: M Rogers for Craven (h-t), R Holdcroft for E O'Neill (h-t), J Clarke for S O'Neill (h-t), B Flanagan for McEneaney (53).

Ref -- N Ward (Westmeath).

Irish Independent