Kildare defeated Offaly by 3-09 to 1-14 after extra time in their Leinster football semi-final replay at Nowlan Park this evening. In a great game Kildare got the better start and were three points up after only five minutes before Offaly got started. Five minutes later and it was level at 0-04 each, the first of four times the sides would be level during the 70 minutes.
Offaly produced the better football for much of the first half but goals from Eddie McCormack, Ronan Sweeney and Dermot Earley kept Kildare in front. Then in the 23rd minute James Grennan was sent off and Offaly had it all to do.
They fought back in the second half though with Ciaran McManus pulling the strings. He scored from the penalty spot to level the match and produced a man-of-the-match performance to score 1-06 of his team's points.
The final 18 mins produced no scores from either team and the match went to extra time. Offaly were restored to 15 men but Kildare took charge and in the end just about deserved the victory in what was the match of the Championship thus far. They will either Meath or Dublin in the Leinster final while Offaly go on to play Limerick in a qualifier.
Elsewhere in the qualifiers Fermanagh produced the goods against Westmeath in Mullingar to win by 0-14 to 0-07 while in Portlaoise Laois ran out easy winners against Clare with a scoreline of 1-19 to 1-06.
Filed by Johnny Proby