Johnny Doyle marked his inter-county return with a hat-trick of points off the bench as Kildare cruised by Longford into the Leinster junior football championship final.
Doyle, who brought down the curtain on his 14-year inter-county career in April 2014, was introduced as an early second-half substitute by the hosts at Newbridge and wasn’t long registering their 15th point with a brilliant effort, which saw them six clear with a little over a quarter of an hour remaining,
Points from Padraig Nash and Jack Robinson saw Kildare leading 0-5 to nothing after eight minutes before Longford got a bit of momentum going and goaled in the 21st minute through Conor Farrell to level the game (0-6 to 1-3).
The Lilywhites mounted a run again though as Robinson, Nash and Eoghan Lawless sent them in at the break leading by 0-11 to 1-4 and they kept their foot on the throttle early in the restart with former All Star Doyle being introduced in the meantime.
The evergreen 42-year-old backed up a splendid 43rd minute point with a free just a minute later ahead of Robinson hitting the Midlanders’ net to all but finish the game as a contest.
Next up for Kildare is a Leinster JFC final date with Meath on June 23rd after the Royals edged Louth in Navan this evening with a seven-point turnaround in the second-half.
Leinster JFC Semi-Final— Kildare GAA (@KildareGAA) June 5, 2019
Well done to the team & management, the team now look forward to a Leinster Final on Sunday 23rd June.
Special mention to Johnny Doyle on making his return to the inter-county scene #KildareGAA pic.twitter.com/EheSQoQoab