Kildare rued 11 second-half wides as neighbours Wicklow advanced to their first Christy Ring Cup final, thanks to a 3-11 to 2-11 win at Aughrim yesterday.
The hosts made full use of a strong wind in the opening half, as goals from Geoffrey Bermingham and Don Hyland helped them into a 2-7 to 1-5 interval lead.
A David Harney goal kept Kildare in touch, with the sides level midway through the half, as Tony Murphy, Kieran Divilly and Billy White claimed scores.
Dual star Leighton Glynn featured as a second-half substitute for Wicklow, despite being set to line out for the county footballers in the Leinster SFC this afternoon. Glynn certainly made an impact, scoring a point, while also setting up his brother Enan for a vital goal late on, as Wicklow held out for victory.
In the other semi-final at Pairc Esler, 13-man Kerry survived a furious Down comeback to progress.
Although they were coasting at eight points clear with 14 minutes to play, the game finished 1-18 to 1-17 after Kerry's Gary O'Brien and Tom Murnane were shown the line. Brendan Ennis and Kerry's Mike Conway had earlier swapped goals, and it was Paul Braniff, with five late points, who led the Down fightback, bringing them level in stoppage-time. But Kerry squeezed through to the decider with a late winning point from a Shane Nolan free.
At Clones, Diarmuid Murphy bagged nine points as Louth advanced to the Nicky Rackard Cup final with a 2-17 to 1-13 win over Monaghan. Second-half goals from Shane Callan and Donagh O'Sullivan proved vital, as Louth claimed a first final spot since 2008.
London will be their opponents thanks to a comfortable 1-29 to 1-5 victory over Fingal in Ruislip. The outcome was sealed by half-time as London took a 23-point lead in at the interval.
Donegal defeated South Down 1-15 to 1-12 after extra-time at Pairc Esler to reach the Lory Meagher Cup final.
Two goals from full-forward Rory ONeill provided Tyrone the impetus to claim the other final spot after a 2-15 to 2-10 victory over Warwickshire in Birmingham.
Sunday Indo Sport