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Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Kildare's Niall Murphy (file photo).
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Red-hot Lilywhites blow Offaly away in 8 minutes to book place in Leinster U20 final
Kildare will face either Dublin or Meath in the final of the EirGrid Leinster U20 Football Championship.

Kildare 3-14 Offaly 2-5

A SCINTILLATING BURST of high-powered football from Kildare in the first eight minutes of tonight’s EirGrid Leinster U20 Football Championship semi-final gave them a comfortable platform from which they easily launched themselves into a provincial final against either Meath or Dublin next weekend.

There was no stopping the Lilywhites in the opening stages of this contest at Tullamore as they pinned Offaly back into their own half and created a series of excellent chances, putting up 2-5 before their hosts even got off the mark.

Whether kicking long or carrying the ball in, Kildare didn’t put a foot wrong and points from Padraig Nash and Brian McLoughlin got them off the mark inside 90 seconds, before Paddy Woodgate got on the end of a move involving those two players and lashed the ball across Barry Rohan into the Offaly net.

A simple high ball into McLoughlin yielded a second goal after seven minutes as the 2016 Leinster minor champions continued to pile on the pressure.

Cian Johnson and Conor Dunne combined for the latter to whip in a goal in response but Offaly’s forays forward were all too rare, even when the tempo of Kildare’s play dropped after their whirlwind start.

Yet when Kevin McDermott goaled to make it 2-7 to 2-1 at half time, Offaly had the wind to come and were entitled to believe that a win was still on the table for them.

They needed a fast start to the second half however and instead their free-scoring forward line, who shot 5-52 in their three previous games in the championship, was utterly shut out as Kildare monopolised possession and slowly turned the screw.

Jimmy Hyland (twice), Aaron Masterson, and Brian McLoughlin all pointed before McLoughlin got on the end of a good team move to palm in their third goal and reduce the closing minutes to a pedestrian affair, with both sides wilting in the heat as the game meandered to the conclusion that looked likely right from the start.

Scorers for Offaly: Conor Dunne 1-1, Kevin McDermott 1-0, Jack Darcy, Cian Farrell (f), Cian Johnson & Robin Galbraith 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kildare: Brian McLoughlin 2-2, Padraig Nash & Jimmy Hyland (0-1f) 0-3 each, Paddy Woodgate 1-0, Aaron Masterson, Stephen Comerford, Ruadhán Ó’Giolláin, Cian Costigan, Niall Murphy & Tony Archbold 0-1 each.


1. Barry Rohan (Shannonbridge)

2. Ronan Hynes (Shannonbridge)
3. Pa Robilliard (captain, Tullamore)
4. Aidan Bracken (Ballycommon)

7. Jack O’Brien (Durrow)
6. Stefan Geoghegan (Bracknagh)
5. Jack Quinn (Ballycumber)

8. Kyle Higgins (Ferbane)
9. Sean Ibbotson (Ferbane)

10. Kevin McDermott (Durrow)
13. Cian Johnson (Ferbane)
12. Dan Wyer (Durrow)

11. Conor Dunne (Ballycommon)
14. Cian Farrell (Edenderry)
15. Shane O’Brien (Clonbullogue)


21. Ed Bennett (Clara) for Bracken (39)
23. Jack Darcy (Shannonbridge) for O’Brien (39)
22. Robin Galbraith (Bracknagh) for Wyer (42)
20. Andrew Delaney (Shamrocks) for Ibbotson (47)
17. Seamus O’Brien (Clara) for J O’Brien (54)


1. Aaron O’Neill (Carbury)

2. Mark Dempsey (Moorefield)
6. Jason Gibbons (Kilcock)
4. DJ Earley (Monasterevan)

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12. Tony Archbold (Celbridge)
3. Mark Barrett (Ballymore Eustace)
5. Stephen Comerford (Round Towers)

8. Aaron Masterson (Moorefield)
9. David Marnell (Sarsfields)

7. Ruadhán O’Giolláin (Maynooth)
11. Padraig Nash (Monasterevan)
10. Darragh Ryan (Sarsfields)

15. Paddy Woodgate (Raheens)
13. Jimmy Hyland (Ballyteague)
14. Brian McLoughlin (Clane)


23. Cian Costigan (Sarsfields) for Woodgate (44)
24. Sam Doran (Johnstownbridge) for McLoughlin (47, black card)
17. Niall Murphy (Ballymore) for Hyland (49)
18. Matthew Betts Symonds (Raheen) for Ryan (52)
20. Shane O’Sullivan (Clane) for Marnell (52)
21. Jack Barrett (Leixlip) for Comerford (52)

Referee: John Hickey (Carlow)

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