Curtin points the way for Lilies
Kildare 2-15 Down 0-1 - Leinster MHC
Despite recording 22 wides, Kildare easily overcame Down in a one-sided preliminary quarter-final at Abbotstown on Saturday.
A seven-point haul (six frees) from Muiris Curtin and late goals from Darragh Melville and Jack Cleary were the highlights of this victory.
Down's only score came from the impressive Caolan Coulter in the 46th minute, but the same player might have opened the Mourne men's account as early as the 21st minute when he cracked an excellent effort off the crossbar.
Kildare were on top in all sectors and were full value for their 0-8 to nil half-time lead. Liam Dempsey and Shane Whyte scored two points apiece, but it was the introduction of the pacey Melville in the 42nd minute - he scored 1-1, as did Cleary - that gave Kildare more of a threat in front of goals.
Down keeper Conor Kelly kept the score down with three excellent saves. Kildare will now go on to meet Wexford in the quarter-final.
Scorers - Kildare: M Curtin 0-7 (6f), D Melville, J Cleary 1-1 each, L Dempsey, S Whyte 0-2 each, F O'Sullivan, H Dunne 0-1 each Down: C Coulter 0-1
Kildare - A Hackett; D Murray, J McKeown, C Shanaghan; B Noone, K Kellehar, D Costello; H Dunne, C Boran; M Curtin, R Stapleton, L Dempsey; F O'Sullivan, S Whyte, M McGovern. Subs: M Eustace for Costello (42 mins), D Melville for McGovern (42 mins), J Higgins for Dempsey (46 mins), J Cleary for Stapleton (51 mins), S Conway for Curtin (57 mins).
Down - C Kelly; M Toner, C Lyons, O O'Connor; J Dorrian, C Watson, L Boyd; R Brown, S Campbell; C Coulter, S Martin. C McMullan; P McCuskar, T Murphy, R Smyth. Subs: D Kelly for Magee (35 mins), N Hurtz for Smyth (51 mins), I Hussain for McMullan (57 mins).
Ref - T Gleeson (Dublin)
Ennis sets up Cats clash for Westmeath
Westmeath 1-18 Meath 1-11
Westmeath always looked the better side against Meath in Saturday's preliminary quarter-final tie at Mullingar.
Lively full-forward Dylan Farrell opened the scoring for the Royals after just 15 seconds, but Westmeath soon took control, with Dean Ennis to the fore. He scored four of his side's points in the first-half, all from play.
Meath's goal came in the 26th minute with a fine individual effort from Cathal Sherlock to tie up the scoring, but three unanswered points put the home side ahead by 0-10 to 1-4 at half-time.
Westmeath had increased their lead to four points (0-13 to 1-6) by the time Shane Williams scored a terrific solo goal in the 42nd minute and they never looked in danger of being overturned from then on.
Ian Birmingham fired over three outstanding points, but Ennis added a brace, as did sub Josh Coll.
They now face a daunting task with a quarter-final against Kilkenny later in the month.
Scorers - Westmeath: D Ennis 0-6, S Williams 1-3 (0-1f), D Devine 0-5 (5f), J Coll 0-2, D Hickey, L Moore 0-1 each. Meath: C Sherlock 1-1, I Bermingham, D Farrell 0-3 each, M Cole 0-2 (2fs), J Murray, N McNally 0-1 each.
Westmeath - E Glennon; E McCabe, C McCormack, L Moore; C McClair, F Brennan, J Coffey; P Nangle, D Hickey; D Devine, D Core, D Ennis; S Williams, J Gillen, D McGrath Subs: J Coll for Gillen (h-t), C Regan for Moore (50), C Fenlon for Devine (56), J Connell for Nangle (58).
Meath - C Ryan; G Fleming, C Kelly, D Finlay; C Bird, C Quigley, B Holden; D O'Sullivan, J Murray; I Birmingham, C Sherlock, N McNally; K Bawle, D Farrell, M Cole. Sub: C Fitzgerald for Finlay (h-t) .
Ref - R Fitzsimons (Offaly)