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Result: Dublin 0-20 Kildare 1-9.

*****

Afternoon all and welcome along as we build up to the last of the 2021 provincial senior football finals. 

Dublin against Kildare in the battle for Leinster honours in Croke Park. Throw-in is 4pm.

So here’s the Dublin starting side:

Dublin

1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

2. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala), 3. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf), 4. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna).

5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams), 6. Brian Howard (Raheny), 7. Seán McMahon (Raheny).

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny), 26. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams).

10. Paddy Small (Ballymun Kickhams), 11. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock), 12. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street).

13. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille), 14. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala), 15. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams).

And here’s the Kildare team set to start:

Kildare

1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth) 

2. Mark Dempsey (Moorefield), 3. Mick O’Grady (Celbridge), Darragh Malone (Allenwood).

5. Ryan Houlihan (Moorefield), 6. David Hyland (Athy), 7. Kevin Flynn (Celbridge).

8. Luke Flynn (Johnstownbridge),  9. Aaron Masterson (Moorefield)

Shea Ryan (Sarsfields), 11. Fergal Conway (Celbridge), 12. Neil Flynn (Maynooth)

13. Ben McCormack (Sarsfields), 14. Daniel Flynn (Johnstownbridge), 15. Jimmy Hyland (Ballyteague)

All set for throw-in as Dublin chase an 11th successive senior crown. Can underdogs Kildare spring a surprise?

3 mins – Kildare 0-1 Dublin 0-0

Jimmy Hyland opens the scoring, surviving a Dublin tackle and clipping over a good score.

6 mins – Dublin 0-1 Kildare 0-1

All square as Dean Rock pops over a free for Dublin, following a foul on Ciaran Kilkenny.

At the other end Neil Flynn smacks a free from distance for Kildare but it tails wide.

7 mins – Dublin 0-2 Kildare 0-1

First point from play for Dean Rock after a surging run by James McCarthy launched that move.

10 mins – Dublin 0-2 Kildare 0-2

All square now. Hyland converts a free after Kevin Flynn was fouled. Good work by the Celbridge man and Daniel Flynn to create that opening initially.

11 mins – Dublin 0-3 Kildare 0-2

McCarthy and Cormac Costello with the interchange play for Dublin, it’s fed to Ciaran Kilkenny and he slots over the point.

11 mins – Dublin 0-3 Kildare 0-3

Kildare sticking with the favourites so far, Daniel Flynn shooting over from a mark.

paddy-small-with-ben-mccormack Dublin's Paddy Small with Ben McCormack of Kildare.

con-ocallaghan-with-mark-dempsey Dublin's Con O’Callaghan with Mark Dempsey of Kildare. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

13 mins – Dublin 0-4 Kildare 0-3

Kildare have possession but cough it up cheaply in the middle, Dublin race through and it ends with Costello bagging a point.

Couple of Kildare chances that they need to be nailing but both Daniel Flynn and Ben McCormack don’t have the distance on their kicks as they fall short.

17 mins – Dublin 0-5 Kildare 0-3

Dublin patiently work it at the other end and it’s James McCarthy who splits the posts. Two in it now.

First-Half Water Break: Dublin 0-5 Kildare 0-4

A boost for Kildare before the break, Jimmy Hyland clipping over a free after he was fouled following a delivery by Daniel Flynn.

23 mins – Dublin 0-6 Kildare 0-4

Second quarter action under way. Niall Scully’s shot for Dublin is blocked down, Ben McCormack’s effort for Kildare falls into the arms of Evan Comerford and then Dean Rock is on target as he fists over.

24 mins – Dublin 0-6 Kildare 0-5

That’s a wonderful kick by Jimmy Hyland from play. A high hanging shot the falls over after Neil Flynn did well to play him in. Back to a one-point game.

26 mins – Dublin 0-7 Kildare 0-5

Rock clips over a free for Dublin.

Kildare seeing plenty possession but punching holes in the Dublin rearguard and converting points is proving an issue. Fergal Conway the latest to see his effort drop short to Evan Comerford.

30 mins – Dublin 0-8 Kildare 0-5

Hawk-Eye judges that Cormac Costello’s shot is between the posts. Boost for Dublin as Kildare had been counter-attacking and Michael Fitzsimons put in a big turnover earlier.

Yellow card for Neil Flynn for a foul on Con O’Callaghan.

35 mins – Dublin 0-9 Kildare 0-5

Con O’Callaghan with Dublin’s latest point, a contrast in efficiency in front of goal so far.

Second-half action under way in Croke Park.

Kildare really need to show more adventure here you feel, only one point in the second quarter of this game. 

36 mins – Dublin 0-9 Kildare 0-6

Now that’s exactly what Kildare need. Daniel Flynn with a superb kick into Hill 16.

37 mins – Dublin 0-10 Kildare 0-6

Dublin haven’t been electric today but are keeping Kildare at arm’s length. They counter with a Dean Rock pointed free after Paddy Small was fouled.

A great passage of work and pressure from Kildare as Dublin attacked, eventually they swallow up Sean McMahon and win the free out.

A big miss there by Kildare. Wonderful kick pass by Daniel Flynn to his brother Luke who makes a great catch for the mark but his resultant shot is really poor and off target.

42 mins – Dublin 0-11 Kildare 0-6

Five in it now as Niall Scully clips over for Dublin. Hard to see Kildare packing enough of a scoring punch in this one.

43 mins – Dublin 0-11 Kildare 0-7

That’s much better from Kildare’s viewpoint as a direct run from Neil Flynn yields a rousing type of point with his left foot.

Subs: Kildare bring in Alex Beirne and Niall Kelly for Fergal Conway and Ryan Houlihan.

47 mins – Dublin 0-12 Kildare 0-7

Dublin hold their nerve to recycle the ball and a lovely kick by Paddy Small splits the posts.

48 mins – Dublin 0-13 Kildare 0-7

Six in it now. Kildare aggrieved not to get a free, Dublin attack and it culminates in Niall Scully pointing a mark. 

Yet another shot short for Kildare. That trend has proved so damaging. Kevin Flynn cut through the Dublin defence well but couldn’t finish with his point attempt.

50 mins – Dublin 0-14 Kildare 0-7

That’s the difference between the teams. Dublin are clinical as Ciaran Kilkenny booms over a shot with his left. Never looked like that one would drop short.

51 mins – Dublin 0-15 Kildare 0-7

Ciaran Kilkenny again with a point and the gap is a sizeable one now at eight points.

53 mins – Dublin 0-15 Kildare 0-8

Good technique by Alex Beirne for Kildare to claw back a point.

Seven points entering the final quarter between the teams. We’re going to need to see a Kildare goal to engineer some sort of comeback in this one.

Colm Basquel is on for Dublin.

Sub: Darragh Kirwan on for Kildare instead of Jimmy Hyland.

60 mins – Dublin 0-16 Kildare 0-8

Double scores in this one now. Brian Howard chips in with a point for Dublin

62 mins – Dublin 0-16 Kildare 1-8

What a cracking strike by Daniel Flynn. Kildare’s marquee forward carried the ball on, surged past Jonny Cooper and rifled a shot to the far corner that Evan Comerford could not block.

64 mins – Dublin 0-17 Kildare 1-8

Ciaran Kilkenny with a mark as Dublin respond to that sublime Flynn goal with a score of their own. Six in it now. Kildare need another piece of Flynn magic here.

Dublin are going to run down the clock here and suck the life out of Kildare’s comeback thoughts. Experts in playing keep ball.

68 mins – Dublin 0-18 Kildare 1-8

Colm Basquel and Jonny Cooper carve open the Kildare defence with Cormac Costello popping over a point. 

A goal for Dublin from Colm Basquel but it’s disallowed for over-carrying. Into injury-time in Croke Park.

So substitute Ryan Basquel clips over a point for Dublin to round off the scoring. An eight-point victory for Dessie Farrell’s side as they claim their latest Leinster senior title win.

That means Dublin will play Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final on Saturday 14 August at 6pm in Croke Park, while Kerry will play Tyrone the following day on Sunday 15 August at 3.30pm.

With the provincial football action over, we’re left with the last four in the race for Sam Maguire and it’s a familiar quartet.

Thanks for joining us today, bye!

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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