Ryan Byrne/INPHO Kildare players celebrate at full-time.
0-4 apiece for Bagnall and Fanning as Kildare edge out Dublin to claim Leinster U20 crown
Kildare came away as two-point winners in the provincial decider.

Dublin 0-15
Kildare 0-17

Brendan Graham reports at O’Moore Park

FOUR POINTS APIECE from Eoin Bagnall and Adam Fanning steered Kildare through a closely fought Leinster U20 Football Final against Dublin this evening.

Kildare couldn’t have asked for a better start with two points straight within the first ninety seconds.

Ryan O’Dwyer responded for the Dubs but Kildare defence well on top in the early stages with Athy man James McGrath swallowing up everything that came anywhere near the half back line early on.

A brilliant turnover from the Kildare defence led to a lightening quick counter and wonderful Tommy Gill point.

Kildare’s frantic intensity and zip continued as the first half progressed. Hugh O’Sullivan had to be sharp twice in a matter of minutes and did brilliantly to deny Adam Fanning two gilt edged goal chances on the ten minute mark.

Fanning twice broke free of tackles from the tight Theo Clancy but was denied on both occasions by two excellent full stretch saves from Hugh O’Sullivan.

Despite Kildare enjoying a large amount of the possession in the opening twenty minutes, Dublin to their credit were sticking to their task and three unanswered points from O’Dwyer and Murray left just one between the sides with twenty minutes played.

At both ends of the pitch Adam Fanning and Ryan O’Dwyer were giving the supporters plenty to admire and cheer with both forwards performing exceptionally. 

With just a minute remaining in the opening half Luke Breathnach showed electric pace before levelling the game with a fine score off his left to leave the side all square with 0-8 apiece at half- time.

The second half began with a common theme from the first with both sets of players booming incredible individual points from distance. First was Fionn Murray who showed sublime skill to kick 45 metre free from the ground straight over the bar followed by a huge effort from distance by Adam Lynam rising the ball sky high and straight between the posts.

Dublin to their credit were reeling Kildare back in every time they threatened to stretch their lead and were level once more on forty minutes thanks to a quick fire combo of points from Murray and O’Dowd. Dublin 0-11 Kildare 0-11.

Heading into the final ten minutes and Kildare began to make a move at wrestling control of a very tight contest.

Bagnall, Farrell and Fanning each pointed for Kildare to put three points between the sides as they looked to kick on with five minutes remaining.

Dublin weren’t going to go down without a fight though and just as they had done throughout the game they dug right back in and kicked the next two scores through the dangerous Murray and Breatnach to narrow the gap to one.

As the clock entered the red Dublin had multiple chances to level the game once more but agonisingly could not get that elusive score.

Substitute Ronan Cullen and Senan Forker both kicked wide either side of a close range Conor Tyrrell mark also put wide.

Kildare’s accuracy was the difference and their insurance point came with the last score of the game through substitute James Dalton to leave Kildare crowned Leinster U20 Football Champions for 2022.

Scorers for Dublin: Fionn Murray (0-5, 3f), Luke Breathnach (0-5), Ryan O’Dwyer (0-3, 1f), Sean Kinsella (0-1), David O’Dowd (0-

Scorers for Kildare: Eoin Bagnall (0-4) , Adam Fanning (0-4),Tommy Gill (0-2), Daniel Lynam (0-2), Aaron Browne (0-1, 1f), Cormac Barker (0-1), Shane Farrell (0-1), Darragh Swords (0-1), James Dalton (0-1)

Dublin: Hugh O’Sullivan; Kieran Conroy, Theo Clancy, Harry Donaghy; David O’Dowd, Greg McEneaney, Conor Tyrrell; Adam Waddick, Senan Forker; Tom Brennan, Fionn Murray, Seamus Smith; Ryan O’Dwyer, Luke Breathnach, Sean Kinsella

Ronan Cullen and Peter Duffy for Seamus Smith and Tom Brennan (36)
Luke Ward for Sean Kinsella (43)
Ben Millist for Harry Donnelly (45)

Kildare: Cormac Barker; Harry O’Neill, Dean O’Donoghue, Mark Maguire; Tommy Gill, James McGrath, Aedan Boyle; Brendan Gibbons, Luke Killian; Niall O’Regan, Daniel Lynam, Shane Farrell; Aaron Browne, Adam Fanning, Eoin Bagnall


Niall O’Regan for Aeden Boyle (40)
Darragh Swords for Aaron Browne (49)
Jack McKevitt for Ryan Burke (53)
Adam Conneely for Brendan Gibbons (58)
James Dalton for Adam Fanning (60)

Munster Minor Football Championship Results 

Clare 1-8 Tipperary 3-12

Waterford 0-9 Limerick 1-16

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