|15 May 2022||2:15 pm||Leinster Senior Football Championship||2022|
Kildare booked their place in the Leinster Final with a deserved win over a battling Westmeath side in Croke Park this afternoon.
Three points was the difference in the end but once Kildare took the lead they didn’t look like they’d relinquish it.
All the goals were scored in the first half. Within 12 seconds of the start Ronan O’Toole found the net for Westmeath. Jimmy Hyland replied for Kildare while just before the break Jamie Gonoud goalled.
Kildare bossed the second half and were ahead by seven points in the 60th minute. Credit to Westmeath they fought until the end but were beaten by the better team. Darragh Kirwan impressed for the Lilywhites while Ben McCormack and Jimmy Hyland all contributed. Ray Connellan and Sam McCartan worked hard for Westmeath.
Just 12 seconds had gone on the clock when Ronan O’Toole found the back of the net to give Westmeath a dream start. Kildare were within one of the Lake County in the sixth minute and two minutes later they took the lead; a poor kick-out fell to Daniel Flynn and his pass was fisted to the net by Hyland.
McCormack, Paul Cribbin and Darragh Kirwan kicked over points as Kildare extended their lead to six in the 19th minute. Westmeath made mistakes which Kildare duly punished. John Heslin and Nigel Harte fired over points for Westmeath but in the 31st minute the Lilywhites restored their six point advantage.
Both sides had been guilty of poor misses but Westmeath were back in the game in the 33rd minute with a goal from Jamie Gonoud but right before half-time Kevin Flynn pointed over to give Kildare a four point lead - 1-13 to 2-06.
Kildare extended the lead to five points inside the opening minute of the second half when Daniel Flynn pointed. Fine points from Connellan and McCartan cut the deficit to three after 38 minutes but Kildare were always able to keep a gap between themselves and Westmeath.
Kirwan put seven between the sides with 10 minutes of normal time remaining, but that was Kildare’s final score of the game. McCartan (two), O’Toole and John Heslin all kicked over late scores. It’s now the Táilteann Cup for the Lake County while Kildare play the winners of Dublin and Meath in the Leinster Final.
|Croke Park, Jones's Road, Dublin, D01 WY49, Ireland|