Kildare and Longford advance to Leinster final20/03/2013 - 21:31:47
Kildare and Longford advanced to a Leinster final, while Donegal, Derry, Down and Cavan won through to the Ulster semi-finals in the Cadbury Under-21 Football Championship today.
Kildare and Longford will meet in the Leinster U-21 decider on April 4 after posting semi-final wins over Laois and Wexford respectively.
At Parnell Park, Kildare never looked troubled as they ran out comprehensive 3-22 to 0-7 winners over a disappointing Laois side.
Kieran McGeeney's charges were always in full control, in a game which saw them hold an 0-11 to 0-5 lead at half-time.
Senior players Fionn Dowling, Paddy Brophy and Niall Kelly were impressive for the Lilywhites, while Evan Costello and Evan O'Carroll kept Laois in touch.
But Kildare were in rampant form in the second half, with goals from Fergal Conway, Daniel Flynn and Hugh Mahon helping them to a comfortable victory.
Longford led by 11 points after just 16-and-a-half minutes in Portlaoise, but found the going tough before emerging as 2-11 to 1-13 winners over Wexford.
Paddy Thompson, James McGivney and Mark Hughes claimed a point each for Longford inside the opening five minutes, before Eoghan McCormack's side fired two goals in a 90-second spell from the boot of Hughes.
Defender Jack Kelly opened Wexford's account in the 20th minute, and two minutes later a goal from Robert Dempsey handed them a much-needed lifeline.
However, Longford led by 2-7 to 1-3 at the break and extended their lead to eight points inside 90 seconds of the restart, following a fourth Robbie Smyth point.
Wexford dug deep to score seven points without reply between the 34th and 42nd minutes. James McGivney bagged a much-needed score for Longford, but Alan Tobin tied the contest.
However, Smyth answered back for Longford with two quick points to push them ahead. Wexford were reduced to 14 men in the second minute of injury-time with Aidan Cash dismissed on a second yellow card.
Both teams had further chances to add to their tallies with Ciaran Butler fluffing a chance of claiming an equalising score for Wexford, while Smyth and McGivney both registered wides late on.
Man-of-the-match Paddy McBrearty (0-7) and Conor Gibbons (0-4) caught the eye as Donegal overcame Tyrone on a 0-15 to 1-6 scoreline at Healy Park.
Maxi Curran's side led by 0-8 to 1-3 at half-time in Omagh, with McBrearty and Gibbons leading the charge.
Tyrone kept in touch thanks to a Stefan Tierney goal in the 26th minute, but Donegal always looked in control.
The hosts ended the game with 14 men after midfielder Richard Donnelly was dismissed when he was shown a second yellow card in injury-time.
A hat-trick of first half goals provided the platform for victory as Derry beat Antrim by 4-12 to 1-9 at Casement Park.
The visitors led by 3-3 to 0-5 at the break with a brace of goals from team captain Aaron Devlin and a third from Ryan Dougan helping Derry to a seven-point interval lead.
Owen Gallagher fired a goal for the Saffrons on the restart, but Derry were always on top with Chris Spiers netting their fourth goal in the dying minutes.
Meanwhile, Down braved a second half rally from neighbours Armagh to earn an 0-11 to 1-5 success at the Athletic Grounds.
The visitors powered to a 0-7 to 0-1 interval lead, with Danny Savage and Ryan O'Hare taking the bulk of the Down scores.
Armagh's lone score in the opening half came from Eddie English. The Orchard youngsters were far more impressive on the restart with Aidan Forker netting their goal.
But Down kept the scoreboard ticking over as scores from Daragh O'Hanlon, Shea McArdle and Jerome Johnston helped the Mourne County to a three-point triumph.
Extra-time was required before Cavan and Monaghan could be separated, with reigning Ulster Under-21 champions Cavan coming out on top in tonight's derby by 1-16 to 1-12.
Cavan led by 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time, and the Breffni County moved five points clear on the restart thanks to a Paul O'Connor goal.
However, Monaghan pegged it back to tie the contest at 1-8 apiece with Jack McCarron netting their goal.
Monaghan were reduced to 14 men, following a second yellow card for Shane Carey after he had helped move the visitors 1-9 to 1-8 ahead.
Cavan remained composed though as a late O'Connor point ensured it finished 1-9 apiece after normal time, but it was the Breffni side who seized the initiative in extra-time.
Cavan led by 1-13 to 1-10 at the end of the first period of extra-time, and outscored Monaghan by four points to two on the restart to secure a semi-final place.
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