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Keegan leads Kildare fightback

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SPORTSFILE

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Gerry Keegan may be too young to run for President but he was king as holders Kildare advanced to the semi-final of the Christy Ring Cup at Trim.

The 21-year-old wasn't named in the original team but took his place at corner-forward and it was his two goals in the opening half that dragged his side back into contention. Keegan eventually finished with a tally of 2-5.

Meath started at a terrific pace and led 1-7 to 0-1 by the 18th minute with their goal coming from Jack Regan. However, by half-time Kildare had narrowed the deficit to the minimum, the Royals ahead 1-10 to 2-6.

The sides were level on four occasions in the second half but the dismissal of Meath's Keith Keoghan on receipt of a second yellow card on 57 minutes proved the turning point. The Lilywhites seized the initiative after that despite Jack Fagan netting a minute after the sending off to leave the hosts ahead 2-16 to 3-12.

Kildare outscored their opponents 11 points to two in the final 12 minutes to eventually end comfortable winners, with Keegan notching four of those scores.

Scorers - Kildare: G Keegan 2-5, M Delaney 0-9 (5fs), B Deay 1-4, D Stapleton, F O Muineachain, D Flaherty, D Young, E O'Neill 0-1 each. Meath: J Fagan 1-8 (0-8fs, 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; D Stapleton, F O Muineachain, J Doran; N O Muineachain, M Moloney, E O'Neill; M Fitzgerald, P Divilly; W Greene, D Flaherty, B Deay; M Delaney, E 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, M Burke, S heavey; D Healy, S Morris; J Fagan, J Regan, E Marsh; A Douglas, J Toher, W McGrath. Subs: C Bird for Marsh (51), S Quigley for McGrath (61), D Reilly for Healy (66).

Ref - T Carroll (Offaly).

Indo Sport