Late goals from Richie Hoban and Martin Fitzgerald proved decisive in Parnell Park yesterday, as Kildare overcame Meath in a gripping Allianz Hurling League Division 2B decider.
Meath’s Noel Kirby and Kildare’s Paul Divilly impressed in the opening stages and the sides were level (0-5 each) after 24 minutes. But a Colm Ó Mealóid goal moments before the break edged Meath into a 1-5 to 0-7 interval lead.
Points from Divilly and Martin Fitzgerald had them level again before Kildare full-forward Tony Murphy flicked a Conor Kenny delivery to the net in the 44th minute.
But back came Meath and five scores from Clynch (3) and Kirby (2) had them level again with seven minutes remaining. But late goals from goals from Richie Hoban and Martin Fitzgerald secured the title for Willie Sunderland’s charges.
Scorers for Kildare: P Divilly 0-6 (6f), M Fitzgerald 1-2, R Hoban 1-1 (1-1f), T Murphy 1-0, D Butler 0-2 (1f, 1 s/line), M Moloney, J Enright 0-1 each.
Scorers for Meath: N Kirby 0-7 (7f), C O Mealoid 1-0, S Clynch 0-3 (3f), S Heavey, J Kelly 0-1 each.
KILDARE: P Dermody; P Reidy, F Ó Múineacháin, J Doran; K Divilly, R Hoban, N Ó Múineacháin; D Butler, M Moloney; C Kenny, P Divilly, D Harney; M Fitzgerald, T Murphy, L Quinn.
Subs: D Smyth for Murphy (25-27, blood sub), J Enright for Quinn (h-t), J O’Malley for K Divilly (47), R Kelly for Harney (49).
MEATH: S McGann; C Reilly, D Healy, S Morris; J Togher, P Fagan, E Keogh; S Clynch, S Donoghue; S Heavey, N Kirby, E Marsh; J Kelly, D Doran, P Durnin.
Subs: C O Mealoid for Marsh (19), C Fitzsimons for Donoghue (42), N Horan for Durnin (48), M Cole for Kelly (64), K Keoghan for Heavey (69).
Referee: E Hasson (Derry).
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