Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

McGeeney's cup of cheer

The Kildare boss, Kieran McGeeney, may have endured a setback when his side slid out of Division One of the National League, but the former All-Ireland winning Armagh skipper has received a slice of consolation now that the Lilywhites have reached the Cadbury's All-Ireland Under-21 football final.

There they will meet a Kerry outfit who were stretched to the limit before pipping a resilient Mayo side in a pulsating semi-final at Nenagh.

Kerry, with several players who have already gained success at Minor level, looked relatively comfortable when they led by 1-3 to 0-2 at half-time, Johnny Buckley having fired in their goal after taking a pass from Tommy Walsh, a player who has been on duty with the Kerry senior side recently in the National League.

Paddy Curran and Paul O'Connor had formed a dangerous twin spearhead in the Kingdom attack, but after the break Mayo asserted themselves with Padraig O'Connor and Aidan Campbell prominent. They staged a strong finish which was highlighted by a Mike Sweeney goal and the Kerry defence was forced to absorb heavy pressure as Mayo, who were beaten by Armagh in the 2004 All-Ireland final, tried to salvage the game.

Certainly, the looming Kerry v Kildare decider has all the hallmarks of being a very interesting contest - and it could give Kieran McGeeney some cause for celebration.