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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 26 April, 2018


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KILDARE’S MINORS DEFENDED the Leinster title in today’s Croke Park curtain-raiser. Could the young Dubs wrestle back the provincial crown?

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Good morning and welcome to Croke Park where we’re getting set for the first game in today’s double-header. Dublin v Kildare in the Leinster MFC final throws in at 12 noon.

I’ll have the team news for you presently.

Here’s the Dublin team as named earlier this week.

1. Eiven Whelan (Trinity Gaels)

2. Cian Murphy (Thomas Davis)
3. Jack Mullins (St Brigid’s)
4. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)

5. Aodhan Fee (Naomh Mearnog)
6. Shane Clayton (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
7. Glenn O’Reilly (Na Fianna)

8. Andrew Foley (Clontarf)
9. Eoghan McHugh (Na Fianna)

10. Warren Egan (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
11. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
12. Jack Burke (St Maur’s)

13. Aaron Byrne (Na Fianna)
14. Con O’Callaghan (capt, Cuala)
15. Chris Sallier (Thomas Davis)

And here’s the Kildare team:

1. Tadhg Foley (Athy)

2. Sean Healy (Moorefield)
3. Mark Hyland (Athy)
4. Alan Scully (Sarsfields)

5. Jamie Flynn (Round Towers)
6. Paul Mescal (capt, Maynooth)
7. Conor Earley (Raheens)

8. Eoghan Boyle (Rathangan)
9. Con Kavanagh (Sarsfields)

10. Evan Flynn (Round Towers)
11. Conor Hartley (Sarsfields)
12. Rory Feely (Athy)

13. Michael Kelly (Athy)
14. Sean Dempsey (Sarsfields)
15. Stefan Lawlor (Rathangan)

THROW IN: We’re underway with Dublin attacking the Hill 16 end in this first half.

Dublin 0-1 Kildare 0-1: 4 mins – Colm Basquel opens the scoring for Dublin but Sean Dempsey cancels it out with a free at the other end.

Kildare 0-2 Dublin 0-1: 5 mins – Kildare captain Paul Mescal wins the kickout and plays in Conor Hartley who settles the nerves with a good score.

Kildare 0-3 Dublin 0-1: 7 mins – Sean Dempsey kicks a 45 to open up a two-point lead for the Lillies.

Kildare 0-4 Dublin 0-1: 9 mins – Kildare are controlling this game in midfield at the moment. They have men over as they surge forward and Evan Flynn points.

Kildare 0-4 Dublin 0-2: 11 mins – Dublin captain Con O’Callaghan lines up a free and sends it left-footed over the bar into the Hill 16 end.

Kildare 0-5 Dublin 0-3: 13 mins – Dublin’s forwards are under a lot of pressure in possession but Warren Egan points. At the other end, Michael Kelly shrugs off the challenge of two Dublin men to point off his weaker right foot.

GOAL FOR DUBLIN! Dublin 1-3 Kildare 0-5 (O’Callaghan, 14′) Fine score by the Dublin skipper who comes in off the left and keeps his shot low across Kildare keeper Tadhg Foley. Dublin lead by a point.

GOAL FOR KILDARE! Kildare 1-5 Dublin 1-4 (Dempsey, 15′) What a response from Kildare! Brilliant running by Kelly who squares it to Dempsey who palms the ball to the net at the back post.

Kildare 1-5 Dublin 1-5: 16 mins – Chris Sallier levels it for Dublin.

Dublin 1-7 Kildare 1-5: 18 mins – Two quick scores for O’Callaghan in very similar circumstances, beating Mark Hyland on both occasions before pointing.

GOAL FOR DUBLIN! Dublin 2-7 Kildare 1-5 (Basquel, 19′) Very sloppy by the Kildare defence and Dublin punish them. A short kick-out goes wrong and Sallier plays across the face of goal where Basquel slides in to finish.

Dublin 2-7 Kildare 1-6: 20 mins – Fine score by Kelly to stem the tide for Kildare. He cuts the deficit to four.

GOAL FOR DUBLIN! Dublin 3-7 Kildare 1-6 (Byrne, 22′) The floodgates are well and truly open now and this is the pick of Dublin’s three so far. Superb finish by Na Fianna forward Aaron Byrne, placing it perfectly past Foley.

Dublin 3-8 Kildare 1-6: 25 mins – O’Callaghan points a free.

Dublin 3-9 Kildare 1-8: 29 mins – O’Callaghan adds another point to his brilliant first-half tally but Kildare hit back with two on the bounce from their midfielders Boyle and Kavanagh.

SUBSTITUTION: Change for Kildare — Mark Hyland, who has been marking Con O’Callaghan, is replaced by Shea Ryan.

HALF TIME: Dublin 3-9 Kildare 1-8

Back shortly.

SECOND HALF: We’re back underway in HQ. Can Kildare close the gap?

A change apiece at the break. Declan Monahan replaces Cian Murphy at the back for Dublin; for Kildare, Ben McCormack replaces Stefan Lawlor at corner-forward.

Dublin 3-10 Kildare 1-8: 31 mins – Kildare give away simple possession in midfield and Basquel punishes them.

Dublin 3-10 Kildare 1-9: 32 mins – Kildare drop a free in front of the Dublin goal. It falls to Dempsey who frees himself on the right and points.

Dublin 3-12 Kildare 1-9: 37 mins – It has all quietened down a bit in the last few minutes and gone a bit scrappy. Egan and McHugh kick two points in the space of 30 seconds for the Dubs. They lead by nine now and you feel this one is slipping away from Kildare.

Dublin 3-14 Kildare 1-9: 40 mins – Byrne and O’Reilly add two more from play for Dublin. Dublin have scored five points to Kildare’s one in this half.

Dublin 3-14 Kildare 1-10: 41 mins – Eoghan Boyle gets one back from Kildare but it’s goals they need at this stage, really.

Fine save by Tadhg Foley who dives full length to deny Byrne his second goal.

Dublin 3-14 Kildare 1-11: 48 mins – Sean Dempsey scoots a free low over the bar. He has 1-4 of Kildare’s 1-11.

The ball drops into Tadhg Foley’s hands and the Kildare keeper goes on a solo run, almost out to the 45 before he is crowded out and steps over the sideline into touch.

Half-chance for Kildare as Boyle drops a ball on the edge of the square. Dempsey jumps to get a flick on it but knocks it wide.

Dublin 3-14 Kildare 1-12: 53 mins – Dempsey points another free into the Hill. Dublin’s lead is eight now.

Dublin 3-15 Kildare 1-12: 56 mins – Dublin move the ball across the front of the Kildare goal before Byrne points.

Dublin crack the Kildare crossbar. There’s no letting up in these last few minutes.

Dublin 3-16 Kildare 1-12: 58 mins – Con O’Callaghan points for the first time in this second half. He has been well marshalled by Shea Ryan since Kildare made that change before the break.

We’re into one minute of additional time.



That’s that. Dublin — led by captain Con O’Callaghan — run out comfortable 10-point winners and strip Kildare of their minor title.

Could it be the start of another great afternoon for the capital? The senior decider between Dublin and Meath throws in at 2pm and don’t worry, we’ll have every kick covered.

Thanks for reading.

About the author:

Niall Kelly


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