boys in blue

1-3 for Brian Fenton in masterful display as Dublin shake off rust to blitz Kildare

Dublin trailed by two at half-time, but were in irresistible form in the second period.

Dublin 2-17

Kildare 2-10

Kevin O’Brien reports from Croke Park

DUBLIN SHOOK OFF some early signs of rust to blow Kildare away in their Division 1 opener tonight.

Brian Fenton and Luke Flynn Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

The All-Ireland champions are back in training just two weeks after their team holiday in South Africa, but once they got the opening 35 minutes out of their system they looked back to their brilliant best in Croke Park.

Dublin trailed by two after a sloppy first-half, but blitzed their opponents with an unanswered 2-5 in the 13 minutes after the restart, with goals arriving from Dean Rock and Brian Fenton.

Man-of-the-match Fenton was masterful at midfield, bombing forward to score 1-3 on a night where Kildare couldn’t live with his pace and energy.

The Raheny star caught a mark in the first-half with an outstanding fetch, and scored his first point with a fine curling effort off his weaker left foot.

Dublin scored 2-10 in total after half-time, all of it from play, and still left two goal chances behind them.

Tempers flare off the ball Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Jim Gavin’s side started with eight of their All-Ireland winning team for this league opener, but it was veteran Bernard Brogan who impressed with some brilliant link-up play in attack.

The St Oliver Plunketts man put goals on a plate for Rock and Fenton shortly after half-time, kicked a point of his own and had another narrowly ruled out by Hawkeye in a productive 60 minutes before he was replaced.

Of the newcomers, Colm Basquel clipped over three points, while half-forward Brian Howard added a brace in a good display on the half-forward line. All-Ireland U21 winning defender Cillian O’Shea arrived on in the 54th minute to make his senior debut for the Dubs.

James McCarthy, their All-Star midfielder, returned to his old role at right-half back while Jonny Cooper – a late edition to the team – held the centre of defence.

Colm Basquel and Luke Flynn Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

The game’s opening goal arrived after a shot at the posts from Paul Cribbin landed at an unmarked Luke Flynn at the back post, and he finished low past Cluxton.

Dublin clicked through the gears in the opening 35 minutes without ever really hitting their stride. Ciaran Kilkenny kicked two decent scores, while Fenton and Brogan each curled over fine efforts in the first-half.

Kildare led by two at half-time but left were wasteful too after kicking six wides and dropping a couple short.

Dublin turned the screw after the restart, posting 2-5 without reply to stun Kildare. Brogan was heavily involved in both, scooping up a pass for Rock’s opening goal and palming a ball into the path of Fenton for the second.

Kildare’s spirit was shot for a spell as Basquel, Niall Scully and John Small all added scores to stretch the lead.

The Lilywhites did have a strong finish to their credit, and Eamonn Callaghan arrived off the bench to kick three frees in the last 10 minutes. Daniel Flynn drove in a stunning late goal to put some respectability on the scoreboard, but this was Dublin’s night.

Scorers for Kildare: Daniel Flynn 1-2, Luke Flynn 1-0, Eamonn Calllaghan 0-3 (0-3f), Kevin Feely 0-2 (0-2f), Neil Flynn 0-1 (0-1f), Paul Cribbin 0-1, Mark Donnellan 0-1 (0-1f),

Scorers for Dublin: Brian Fenton 1-3, Dean Rock 1-2 (0-2f), Colm Basquel 0-3, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-2, Niall Scully 0-2, Brian Howard 0-2, John Small 0-1, Kevin McManamon 0-1, Bernard Brogan 0-1,


1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnell’s)

2. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)
3. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)
4 Darren Daly (Fingal Ravens)

6. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
19. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Michael Darragh Macauley (Ballyboden St Enda’s)

12. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge St)
11. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)
10. Brian Howard (Raheny)

13. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
14. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
15. Bernard Brogan (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh)


24. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s) for Macauley (45)
5. Eric Lowndes (St Pelegrine’s) for Cooper (50)
20. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes) for Rock (54)
21. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams) for Fitzsimons (54)
26. Cillian O’Shea (Kilmacud Crokes) for Daly (59)
17. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s) for Brogan (60)


1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)

3. David Hyland (Athy)
4. Mick O’Grady (Celbridge)
2. Peter Kelly (Two Mile House)

5. Johnny Byrne (Allenwood)
6. Eoin Doyle (Naas)
7. Cian O’Donoghue

8. Kevin Feely (Athy)
9. Luke Flynn (Johnstownbridge)

10. Fergal Conway (Celbrige)
11. Chris Healy (Two Mile House)
12. Paul Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)

13. Neil Flynn (Maynooth)

14. Daniel Flynn (Johnstownbridge)
15. Cathal McNally (Johnstownbridge)


17. David Slattery (Confey) for Neil Flynn (2)
20. Niall Kelly (Athy) for Chris Healy (20, black-card)
18. Tommy Moolick (Leixlip) for Conway (50)
21. Ben McCormack (Sarsfields) for Luke Flynn (56)
19. Mark Hyland (Athy) for Kelly (61)
22. Eamonn Callaghan (Naas) for Feely (61)

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)

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