Kildare 0-22 Meath 0-17: Kildare shook off Leinster rivals Meath and claim the Allianz Hurling Division 2B title in Cusack Park, Mullingar on Saturday.
A six-minute, four-point blast in the second period gave Kildare a crucial cushion as they returned to Division 2A at the first attempt.
The Christy Ring champions were 10-point victors over Meath in the opening round of fixtures but there was little to separate the sides in the first half as Jack Regan kept Meath in touch with eight points. Mark Delaney, with a brace, and Leo Quinn gave Kildare an early advantage but Regan ensured Meath levelled after 15 minutes.
Regan kept Meath ticking over as Evan Dempsey, Quinn, Delaney and Bernard Deay all hit the target for Kildare, who led 0-11 to 0-10 at the break.
Delaney and James Toher swapped scores early in the second half but Kildare ratted out points from Paul Divilly, Dempsey, Quinn and Delaney giving them a five-point lead after 45 minutes. Regan hit back with two points from placed balls but Meath could not close the gap to less than four points as Deay, Quinn, Dempsey and a late Ryan Casey point ensured victory, and promotion, for Kildare.
Scorers for Kildare: M Delaney 0-8 (8f), L Quinn 0-5, E Dempsey 0-3, B Deay 0-2, R Casey, É O’Neill, J Byrne, P Divilly 0-1.
Scorers for Meath: J Regan 0-10 (0-1 ‘65, 0-1pen, 0-5f), G Kelly 0-2, J Toher, A Douglas, W McGrath, A Gannon, J Fagan 0-1.
KILDARE: P Dermody, N Ó’Muineacháin, M Grace, J Doran, D Stapleton, M Fitzgerald, É O’Neill, M Moloney, P Divilly, M Delaney, L Quinn, J Byrne, E Dempsey, N Kenny, B Deay.
Sub: R Casey for Kenny (64).
MEATH: C Bird, C Reilly, S Brennan, N McLoughlin, K Keoghan, D Healy, P Keogh, S Whitty, J Toher, S Morris, G Kelly, A Douglas, J Regan, M Dunne, W McGrath.
Subs: J Fagan for Dunne (ht), S Heavey for Morris (ht), A Gannon for Kelly (66).
Referee: C Cunning (Antrim).
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