A brilliant Barry Dardis penalty in injury time gave Meath’s promotion hopes a massive boost as they recovered from a five point half time deficit to remain top of the pile in division two.
Meath were dominant in the second half but were guilty off some poor shooting and looked like they were set to miss out on two precious points after Kildare dug in.
However, Dardis buried his penalty on 71 minutes after full back Conor McGill was fouled by Keith Cribbin and the Royals held on for the rest of injury time to win.
Meath opened the scoring after just 50 seconds when Mickey Newman spilt the posts but Kildare would take over from there’d hit 1-3 without reply. Paddy Brophy opened their account before all three full forwards scored. Jimmy Hyland converted a mark and Neil Flynn also pointed before Ben McCormack, who would be forced off through injury on 23 minutes, slipped behind the Seamus Lavin and fired a brilliant shot past Andy Colgan.
Kildare were reduced to 14 men for ten minutes when Mick O’Grady was black carded but they outscored the home side by 0-2 to 0-1 in that period. And when Flynn fired over the last point of the half it saw a much more efficient Kildare side go in leading by 1-7 to 0-5 in the break.
Meath took over from the first whistle but struggled for scores and finished the day with ten wides and also hit the post twice with point attempts. However, Kildare could manage just a single point in the second half from a Neil Flynn free and the Royals looked to have kicked away their chance before Dardis stepped up.
SCORERS – Meath: B Brennan 0-4 (2f), B Dardis 1-1 (1-0 pen, 1f), M Newman 0-2 (1f), D Campion, C O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Kildare: B McCormack 1-1, N Flynn 0-3 (1f), J Hyland (1m), K Cribbin P Brophy, T Moolick 0-1 each.
Meath: A Colgan; S Lavin, C McGill, R Ryan; G McCoy, D Keogan, S Gallagher; B Menton, S McEntee; C O’Sullivan, B Brennan, D Campion; B McMahon, M Newman, T O’Reilly SUBS: G Reilly for McMahon, N Kane for McCoy (both HT), B Dardis for Newman (50), P Harnan for Campion, M Burke for Brennan (both 60)
Kildare: M Donnellan; M Dempsey, M O’Grady, D Hyland; C O’Donoghue, E Doyle, P Kelly; K Feely, T Moolick; P Brophy, F Conway, K Cribbin; N Flynn, B McCormack, J Hyland SUBS: A Tyrrell for McCormack (23), P Cribbin for Brophy (50), J Murray for Doyle (53), A O’Neill for Donnellan, K O’Callaghan for Conway (both 57),
Referee: D O’Mahoney (Tipperary).
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