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Dublin recapture Leinster U21 crown with win over Kildare thanks to goal king Costello

A four-point win for Dublin against Kildare tonight in Navan.

Dublin captain Davy Byrne lifts the trophy after tonight's game.
Dublin captain Davy Byrne lifts the trophy after tonight's game.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dublin 3-10
Kildare 1-12

DUBLIN MAY HAVE been robbed of the impressive Killian O’Gara due to injury for tonight’s EirGrid Leinster U21 football final but his replacement Cormac Costello helped ensure they were crowned champions with victory over Kildare at Páirc Tailteann in Navan.

Costello fired home two crucial goals and also landed a brace of points as Dessie Farrell’s team recaptured the crown that they won last year. Colm Basquel also rattled the net for the Dubs while Conor McHugh struck 0-5.

But it was Kildare’s Neil Flynn who was the standout attacker on the night with his 0-11 haul nearly helping the Lilywhites achieve a memorable success. Flynn produced an exhibition from placed balls and deservedly won the man-of-the-match award.

Success represented a continuation of Dublin’s dominance in Leinster at this level as they took provincial U21 honours for the sixth time in eight years. Dublin will now advance to an All-Ireland semi-final meeting on 18 April against the winners of next Thursday’s Munster final between Cork and Tipperary.

The teams were evenly balanced in the opening quarter and were locked together at 0-3 apiece before Costello set up Basquel for Dublin’s first goal in the 20th minute. Two minutes later Costello found the net himself after great approach work from Conor McHugh.

Cormac Costello under pressure from the Kildare defence Dublin's Cormac Costello under pressure from the Kildare defence. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

But Kildare hauled themselves back off the floor before half-time. Flynn’s assured kicking helped their cause before Mark Sherry bagged a vital goal to leave them 2-5 to 1-6 adrift at half-time.

The portents looked even brighter for Kildare after the interval when they reeled off four points without reply. They were two clear entering the final quarter thanks to the magnificent Flynn but were then undone by the opportunism of Costello as he netted again.

Niall Kelly breaks from the team photo Niall Kelly breaks from the Kildare team photo. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

From there Dublin held off Kildare despite the gap being cut to the minimum on a couple of occasions. McHugh hit some vital points and despite Flynn’s best efforts, Kildare could not force extra-time with the loss of Niall Kelly through injury a notable setback.

In the dying moments Costello was grounded and McHugh tapped over the resultant penalty as Dublin ran out four-point victors.

Scorers for Dublin: Cormac Costello 2-2 (0-1f), Conor McHugh 0-5 (0-1 pen), Colm Basquel 1-0, Shane Carthy, Andrew Foley, Eric Lowndes 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kildare: Neil Flynn 0-11 (0-6f, 0-2 ’45), Mark Sherry 1-0, Niall Kelly 0-1.

DUBLIN

1. Lorcan Molloy (St Anne’s)

3. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)
7. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)
24. Emile Mullan (Na Fianna)

5. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrine’s)
6. Conor Mulally (Cuala)
4. Ross McGowan (Kilmacud Crokes)

8. Stephen Cunningham (St Sylvester’s)
9. Shane Carthy (Nh Mearnóg)

10. Gavin Burke (St Vincent’s)
11. Andrew Foley (Clontarf)
12. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge St)

13. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille)
14. Conor McHugh (Na Fianna)
15. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s)

Subs
17. Eoin Fletcher (St Maurs) for Mullan (32)
19. Robbie Gaughan (Ballinteer St John’s) for Burke (38)
22. Aaron Byrne (Clontarf) for Basquel (50)
20. David Campbell (Kilmacud Crokes) for Foley (53)

Davey Byrne and Daithi O'Cathmhaoil celebrate Davy Byrne and David Campbell celebrate. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

KILDARE

1. Colin Heeney (Celbridge)

2. Brian Byrne (Naas)
3. Darren Maguire (Maynooth)
4. Paul Mescal (Maynooth)

5. Ryan Houlihan (Moorefield)
6. David Hyland (Athy)
7. David Duke (Kilcock)

8. Ryan Moore (Moorefield)
9. Pascal Connell (Athy)

11. David Fitzpatrick (Raheens)
10. Chris Fenner (St Laurence’s)
14. Mark Sherry (Two Mile House)

13. Neil Flynn (Maynooth)
12. Niall Kelly (Athy)
15. Chris Healy (Two Mile House)

Subs
19. Liam Healy (Moorefield) for Byrne (27)
24. Cein McMonagle (Clogherinkoe) for Moore (38)
23. Declan Flaherty (St Kevin’s) for Healy (46)
18. Liam Power (Raheens) for Connell (50)
25. Tom Gibbons (Leixlip) for Kelly (inj) (57)
20. John Costello (Celbridge) for Houlihan (black card) (60)

Referee: Niall Ward (Westmeath)

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