Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

McGeeney’s dream alive

Kieran McGeeney's Kildare stormed to a comfortable victory over a disappointing Wexford outfit in the Leinster senior football championship quarter-final clash at Dr Cullen Park, Carlow.

Despite the comfortable victory on Saturday night, McGeeney is calling for further improvement.

“In the end it was an encouraging victory but there's no doubt but that we'll need to improve further for the semi-final,” he said.

Kildare enjoyed a dream start, racing into a 1-2 to 0-0 lead inside nine minutes. Having opened impressively with some swift forward movement, they had the Wexford defence in early trouble with points from James Kavanagh and Padraig O'Neill inside the opening five minutes. Then came the goal. Ronan Sweeney, having made inroads through the centre, laid the ball off to Alan Smith who fired through a group of players into Anthony Masterson's right hand corner.

Wexford, having opening their scoring through a 16th minute Shane Cullen pointed free, bagged further points through Eric Bradley, Ciaran Lyng with two, and a Bolton free to leave the sides level 1-2 to 0-5 after 22 minutes.

Kildare finished the half strongest with points from John Doyle and Daryl Flynn to lead |1-6 to 0-6 at the interval.

After Dermot Earley struck for two early second half points the scene for a period of total Kildare dominance with James Kavanagh having linked up with John Doyle sent a rising shot to the net leaving his side 2-9 to 0-7 in front.

Pointed frees from Shane Cullen brought Wexford back to 2-10 to 0-10 but it was Kildare's composure which saw them control the second half and advance through to a semi-final meeting with winners of Laois and Wicklow.

Meanwhile, it was the clash of the Kerry Managers in O'Connor Park, Tullamore, where Westmeath under Tomas O'Fleaharta, got the better of the Mick O'Dwyer managed Wicklow, 0-16 to 1-10, after extra time.

The sides were level 0-11 to 1-8 at the end of seventy minutes, with the midlanders edging into a 0-13 to 1-9 victory at half time in extra time. But it was the accuracy of Fergal Wilson, who finished the game with 0-5, that eventually edged Westmeath through to a semi-final clash with Dublin.

It may have been victory for Kieran McGeeney on Saturday evening, but there was no such luck for Louth Manager Eamonn McEneany, as they suffered a heavy 1-13 to 0-6 defeat at the hands of an impressive Laois side.

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