Kildare U20 1-15
Dublin U20 0-10
Kevin Egan reports from Tullamore
KILDARE WERE CROWNED the first ever EirGrid Leinster U20 football champions tonight after they produced a superb all-round display to outclass Dublin at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park.
Jimmy Hyland’s eight-point haul will steal the headlines but all across the field Kildare were dominant, winning the lion’s share of possession, suffocating the Dublin full-forward line and even getting a few crucial interventions from goalkeeper Aaron O’Neill, not least after 25 minutes when his superb save to deny Tom Keane proved to be a huge turning point.
Up to that point, this was a hugely competitive contest, even though Kildare were playing with the aid of a deceptively strong breeze. Five different players in blue jerseys as they edged themselves into an 0-5 to 0-4 lead, seemingly very well-poised to kick on and drive for victory after half time.
When Cormac Howley fed Keane on the edge of the Kildare square, the chance was there to increase their advantage hugely, but O’Neill got down very well to deny Keane’s shot. Less than ten seconds later Kildare had worked down the field to set up Tony Archbold for the equalising point, and for the rest of the first half, the Lily Whites were simply superb.
Jimmy Hyland continued to fire over points from all angles and he hit two wonderful scores, Brian McLoughlin split the uprights from out on the stand-side touchline and Padraig Nash, who was effervescent at centre forward throughout, added two equally impressive scores to make it 0-10 to 0-5 at the break.
Dublin needed a fast start after half-time to make meaningful inroads, but in order to do that they needed the ball and Kildare’s midfield were imperious, led by captain Aaron Masterson. They controlled possession and while Dublin kicked points from Tom Keane and Ross McGarry, Kildare were always able to reply and maintained their five-point lead.
In the ten-minute spell right in the middle of the half, Kildare held Dublin scoreless and added two points of their own, forcing Dublin to chase goals in the closing stages. Keane had one chance from 15 metres, but his effort was partially blocked and fizzed over the bar thanks to great work by Mark Barrett.
A foul on Hyland allowed Kildare to crown their win with a penalty goal from Tony Archbold, perfectly placed into the top corner, and while Dublin tacked on the last two points of the game, they couldn’t mask the comprehensive manner of the Lily Whites’ win here.
Kildare: Jimmy Hyland 0-8 (0-6f), Tony Archbold 1-1 (1-0 pen), Padraig Nash 0-3, Paddy Woodgate, Brian McLoughlin, Shane O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Dublin: Tom Keane 0-4 (0-1f), Seán Bugler 0-3, James Doran, Cormac Howley & Ross McGarry 0-1 each
1. Aaron O’Neill (Carbury)
2. Mark Dempsey (Moorefield)
3. Mark Barrett (Ballymore Eustace)
19. DJ Earley (Monasterevan)
12. Tony Archbold (Celbridge)
4. Jack Bambrick (Ardclough)
6. Jason Gibbons (Kilcock)
8. Aaron Masterson (Moorefield)
9. David Marnell (Sarsfields)
10. Darragh Ryan (Sarsfields)
11. Padraig Nash (Monasterevan)
7. Ruadhán O’Giolláin (Maynooth)
15. Paddy Woodgate (Raheens)
14. Brian McLoughlin (Clane)
13. Jimmy Hyland (Ballyteague)
18. Matthew Betts Symonds (Raheens) for Bambrick (14, blood)
20. Shane O’Sullivan (Clane) for Nash (38)
23. Cian Costigan (Sarsfields) for Marnell (49)
24. Sam Doran (Johnstownbridge) for Woodgate (53)
17. Niall Murphy (Ballymore Eustace) for McLoughlin (60)
21. Jack Barrett (Leixlip) for Earley (60+3)
18. Matthew Betts Symonds (Raheens) for Murphy (60+3, black card)
1. David O’Hanlon (Na Fianna)
4. Ciaran Smith (Lucan Sarsfields)
3. Nathan Doran (Clontarf)
2. Nathan Nolan (Kilmacud Crokes)
5. Kieran Kennedy (Ballyboden St Endas)
6. Neil Matthews (Erins Isle)
7. Eoin O’Dea (Na Fianna)
8. Donal Ryan (Na Fianna)
15. Sean Bugler (St.Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh)
10. Tom Keane (Naomh Olaf)
11. James Madden (Ballyboden St. Endas)
12. Ross McGarry (Ballyboden St. Endas)
13. Dan O’Brien (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. James Doran (Na Fianna)
9. Cormac Howley (Round Towers Lusk)
22. Karl Lynch Bissett (Naomh Mearnóg) for Howley (34)
20. James Holland (Ballyboden St. Enda’s) for O’Brien (43)
19. Simon King (St. Jude’s) for McGarry (52)
21. Eoghan Fitzpatrick (Ballinteer St. John’s) for Ryan (56)
23. Daniel Brennan (St. Sylvester’s) for Doran (58)
Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow)