Glory at last for Kildare

Kildare 1-14 Roscommon 1-11
"Big-time relief," was Kildare joint manager Noel McMahon’s overriding emotion following Saturday’s Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U21 B hurling championship final victory over Roscommon at Semple Stadium.

The Lilywhites had lost the previous two finals and 12 months ago they were caught in heartbreaking fashion by Kerry star Pádraig Boyle’s injury-time goal.

Kildare, who led by nine points in the second half, were sweating when Roscommon’s Thomas Featherston lashed to the net in the closing stages but ultimately, a nine-point haul from Gerry Keegan was good enough for the newly-crowned champions.

McMahon said: “This is our third year here and luckily enough we pulled it off. Obviously them getting that last minute goal put the heart crossways on us again, but we were the better team. For some of those lads, it’s their third final and it’s brilliant to win one.”

Kildare were 0-8 to 0-4 clear at half-time before Ryan Casey netted in the 44th minute to set them on their way to victory.

Scorers for Kildare: G Keegan 0-9 (2f), R Casey 1-1, E Dempsey 0-2, K Murphy & S O’Flynn 0-1 each.

Scorers for Roscommon: T Featherston 1-1, R Fallon 0-4f, N Fallon (f), C Duignan, J Henry, R Kelly, A Finnerty & S Naughton 0-1 each.

KILDARE: P McKenna; D Boyle, L McKenna, C Gordon; G Johnson, D Flaherty, K Murphy; S Gainey, T Cribben; N Kenny, G Keegan, S O’Flynn; E Dempsey, L Power, R Casey.

Subs: C Egan for Cribben (inj, 5), S Ryan for Kenny (57).

ROSCOMMON: N Fallon; P Dolan, L Kilcline, W Boyle; D Fallon, C Dolan, C Coyle; J Brennan, C Duignan; P Kenny, T Featherston, H Rooney; R Fallon, J Henry, R Kelly.

Subs: S Naughton for Rooney (19), A Finnerty for Kenny (h-t), G Downey for Brennan (38), C Mulry for Kelly (48), S Kilcommins for Henry (59).

Referee: O Elliott (Antrim).

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