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Dublin: 20 °C Saturday 21 July, 2018

Goals hurt underdogs, old and new shine in Dublin attack and Kildare's black card concern

A seventh Leinster senior title in a row for Dublin today.

Kildare's Kevin Feely tries to block down Dublin's Bernard Brogan.
Kildare's Kevin Feely tries to block down Dublin's Bernard Brogan.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

1. Goals hurt Kildare again in Leinster clash with Dublin

Kildare entered today’s match keenly aware of how lethal Dublin can be up front. In 2013 they put four goals past the Lilywhites in a Leinster clash and in 2015 they raised five green flags in a provincial tie.

For their hopes of springing an upset today, a clean sheet was essential. Yet by the 11th minute, Kildare were left reeling after shipping two goals in a 90 second period.

The strikes from Dean Rock and James McCarthy showcased the power of Dublin’s running game and the composure of their finishing. Kildare prevented Dublin from adding to their goal tally thereafter but the damage was done.

2. Kildare bounce back well from bad start

After the setback of those early goals, it was notable that Kildare did not collapse. By the 20th minute they trailed by nine, yet outscored Dublin by 0-9 to 0-4 before the interval. For a team packed with youngsters sampling Leinster final day for the first time and meeting the class and dominant force that is Dublin, it was an admirable response.

Even in the second half as Dublin stretched their legs and put daylight between the teams on the scoreboard, Kildare kept pouring forward. They were left to rue Daniel Flynn’s missed opportunity – a goal at that stage would have tested Dublin – but were rewarded in injury-time for their efforts when Paddy Brophy found the net.

Kildare were still nine points adrift at the final whistle but that’s the first time since the 2013 Leinster final that any team has suffered a single digit defeat to Dublin in the province. In bridging the gap to Dublin, such small steps of progress must be made.

3. The old and the new shine in the Dublin attack

When Dean Rock was shown a black card in the 23rd minute, Dublin were robbed of their free-taker and a key forward who had clinically finished for the opening goal of the game. There was little sign of that deterring them for the remainder of the match. Instead Con O’Callaghan deputised as free-taker and Bernard Brogan came on to take the place of Rock. By the close of play, that duo had hit 0-17 between them.

An All-Ireland U21 winner in April, O’Callaghan has bounded onto the senior stage effortlessly. He came on as a sub last year against Westmeath. Today in his first start in a Leinster senior final, he was in marvellous form and notched 0-12, a tally split evenly from open play and dead balls.

His contribution was supplemented by an outstanding showing from Bernard Brogan. Considering he didn’t start the game to finish with 0-5 was a testament to his flawless shooting. At opposite ends of their career, O’Callaghan and Brogan were key for Dublin.

4. Feely brilliant again for Kildare but black card could be costly

A bright source in Kildare’s day was the display of Kevin Feely at midfield. He was excellent in directing play with his range of kick passing, swinging over frees off either foot and in fetching kickouts as he claimed four marks over the course of the game. The form of the Athy man has been a major boost this season and it continued today.

But the problem for Kildare was the black card he picked up in the 64th minute. It’s the third that Feely has collected this year after earlier indiscretions in league games against Cork and Clare. As it stands he is set to be suspended for their upcoming Round 4B qualifier. The indications are that Kildare will appeal and given his recent superb displays, his absence would be a major setback for Kildare.

5. Seven-in-a-row for Dublin as they fly high again

It’s over three months now since Dublin were unseated at the final hurdle of the league against Kerry and the subsequent win over Carlow sparked the furore as Diarmuid Connolly was sidelined.

Any concerns about their well-being have been banished though over the course of the last two games. They hit another milestone today in clinching a seventh successive provincial crown, an unprecedented feat in Leinster football. As the 2017 season enters the All-Ireland series, Dublin remain the front-runners.

Source: The42 GAA/SoundCloud


0-12 for O’Callaghan and early goals key as Dublin clinch Leinster title against Kildare

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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