Joe McDonagh Cup

Kildare 1-15 0-28 Meath

Relegation Play Off
Parnell Park
Colum Cunning
Extra Time if Necessary
Joe McDonagh Cup play-off: Regan inspires Meath
Jack Regan starred for Meath against Kildare.

Joe McDonagh Cup play-off: Regan inspires Meath

Joe McDonagh Cup play/off


By Ger McNally at Parnell Park

Jack Regan scored 17 points as Meath preserved their Joe McDonagh Cup status at the expense of Kildare today at a sweltering Parnell Park.

The sharp shooting centre-half forward kept Meath in the game when Kildare started brightly and then led the way as the Royals pulled away in the second half.

David Herity’s Kildare started brightly and a 13th minute goal from Jack Sheridan was fully deserved, in fact Kildare probably should have hit the net before that from a couple of earlier chances. They led 1-7 to 0-4 at the water break but as in previous Championship games this summer their performance levels dropped away after that.

Meath turned up the heat in the second quarter and gradually began to get on top. Regan clipped over frees from every angle and distance and his personal tally stood at 10 points at the half time.

Nick Weir’s got themselves back to within a point of Kildare in first half injury time before Jack Travers fired over from long range to leave Kildare 1-11 to 0-12 ahead at the break.

The game was won in the third quarter when Meath scored nine points without reply to turn that two point at time deficit into a seven point lead. As well as Regan, first half substitute Eamon Ó Donnchadha, James Toher and Stephen Morris also landed impressive scores.

Kildare finally got their first point of the second from Sheridan but he was sent off three minutes later for a late strike on Shane Whitty and any chance of a remarkable comeback went with him.

The final ten minutes were played out with Meath preventing any sniff of a Kildare goal while the kept the scoreboard ticking over at the far end.

Meath endured a difficult league season and opening round to the McDonagh Cup but they have finished with a flourish with a win last week against Kerry and now this crucial win over a Kildare side whose season was the reverse of that.

The Lilywhites won Division 2B and even when losing earlier Championship games to Carlow and Westmeath things looked promising but unfortunately for them they saved their worst performance for the most important game of the season.

Scorers for Meath: J Regan 0-17 (13 frees), E Ó Donnchadha 0-4, S Morris 0-2, J Toher 0-2, M O’Sullivan 0-2, A Gannon 0-1.

Scorers for Kildare: J Sheridan 1-5 (4 frees), B Byrne 0-2 (65, 1 free), P Divilly 0-2, J Travers 0-2, J Byrne 0-1 Conor Dowling 0-1, S Ryan 0-1, G Keegan 0-1.

MEATH: Charlie Ennis; Ger Murphy, Shane Whitty, Sean Geraghty; James Kelly, Darragh Kelly, Keith Keoghan; Stephen Morris, James Toher; David Reilly, Jack Regan, Mark O'Sullivan; Adam Gannon, Alan Douglas, Paddy Conneely.

Subs: Pauric O'Hanrahan for Regan (blood sub, 17-19); E Ó Donnchadha for Reilly (29); Sean Quigley for Conneely (56); Pauric O'Hanrahan for Gannon (58); Mickey Burke for Geraghty (63).

KILDARE: Paddy McKenna; Cathal Derivan, Rian Boran, Simon Leacy; Kevin Whelan, Declan Flaherty, Jack Travers; Paul Divilly, Brian Byrne Brian; Cathal Dowling, Johnny Byrne, James Burke; Colm Chan, Jack Sheridan, David Slattery.

Subs: Gerry Keegan for Chan (31); Shane Ryan for Slattery (41); Caolan Smith for Byrne (52);Conor Dowling for Cathal Dowling (56); Sean Christianseen for Flaherty (68).

REFEREE: Colum Cunning (Antrim).