Holders Kildare recover from slow start to beat Meath and advance to Christy Ring last four
Kildare 3-23 Meath 2-18
Gerry Keegan fired 2-5 as holders Kildare returned to the semi-finals of the Christy Ring Cup at old rivals Meath's expense.
But the repeat of last year's semi-final win was earned the hard way with Meath roaring into a 1-7 to 0-1 lead after 18 minutes on home soil in Trim.
A double of Keegan goals and a third from Bernard Deay steadied Kildare who trailed by just 3-6 to 1-13 at half-time.
Meath still led by one after Jack Fagan's 58th minute goal but were rocked by Keith Keogan's dismissal and were heavily outscored in the closing stages as Kildare pulled clear.
Scorers - Kildare: G Keegan 2-5, M Delaney 0-9 (5f), B Deay 1-3, W Greene, E O'Neill, F O Muineachain, D Stapleton, D Flaherty, D Young 0-1 each. Meath: J Regan 1-8 (0-8f), J Fagan 1-1, W McGrath 0-3, J Toher, E Marsh 0-2 each, S Morris, M Burke 0-1 each.
Kildare: P Dermody; N O Muineachain, F O Muineachain, D Stapleton; E O'Neill, M Moloney, J Doran; M Fitzgerald, P Divilly; W Green, D Flaherty, B Deay; M Delaney, D Dempsey, G Keegan. Subs: D Young for Greene (53), L Quinn for Dempsey (67).
Meath: S McGann; C Reilly, S Brennan, S Whitty; K Keoghan, D Healy, S Heavy; M Burke, S Morris; A Douglas, E Marsh, J Regan; W McGrath, J Toher, J Fagan. Subs: C Bird for Marsh (51), S Quigley for McGrath (61), D Reilly for Healy (66).
Referee: T Carroll (Offaly).