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Dublin: 6°C Sunday 28 February 2021
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Kildare hold their nerve to put Mayo to the sword and claim first ever All-Ireland U20 title

Kildare held out in Croke Park despite a dramatic late Ryan O’Donoghue free-kick to defeat Mayo on Sunday.

Brian McLoughlin celebrates scoring a goal for Kildare on Sunday.
Brian McLoughlin celebrates scoring a goal for Kildare on Sunday.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

Kildare 1-18

Mayo 1-16

Colm Gannon reports from Croke Park

KILDARE CLAIMED THE first ever EirGird All-Ireland U20 title in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon in a game that came right down to the last kick of the day.

Mayo battled their way back to just three points down deep in injury time and forced a free on the edge of the area that Ryan O’Donoghue hammered goalwards.

Kildare had every inch of the goal covered and they needed it to be, as O’Donoghue’s effort was tipped up and over the bar to see Kildare hang on to win by two points at the end.

The Leinister men were deserving winners having led the game from the first minute to the last and in Jimmy Hyland they had a player that lit up the day kicking ten points and landing every one of his sides five points in the final 30 minutes.

David Marnell and Tommy Conroy

Mayo will regret going down to 14 men late on when Jordan Flynn was sent off when his side was just three points behind and he laid his hand on referee Niall Cullen on the way off the field, which will sure to have repercussions later on.

Kildare won the middle third battle all day long and used it as the foundation for this victory and following on the progress their senior outfit have made this year – the future looks very bright for the Lillywhites.

Kildare went in leading by 1-13 to 1-9 at the break after half an hour of free flowing football.

The Kildare full forward line of Jimmy Hyland, Brian McLoughlin and Paddy Woodgate helped themselves to 1-9 of their sides total, while Mayo’s full forward Ross Egan kept his side in touch with five points from frees.

The opening half hour saw 24 scores and just three wides hit as both sides decided that attack was the best form of defence and ran at each other from the get go.

Kildare opened the scoring inside the first minute with Aaron Masterson hammering the ball over the bar after good work in the corner by Hyland.

Mayo responded though a Colm Moran point after Conor Diskin and Nathan Moran did well in the build up. McLoughlin and Egan swapped frees over the next few minutes, before the first goal of the game arrives seven minutes in.

McLoughlin got himself isolated inside on his man and Stephen Comerford picked him out with a great ball and the Clane man finished low past Patrick O’Malley in the Mayo goal.

Paul Lambert and Mark Barrett Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Jimmy Hyland tagged on two great scores inside the next two minutes as the Mayo defence started to look in trouble and they were dealt a major blow when Johnny Maughan was forced off with an injury before the ten minute mark.

Mayo cut the gap back to three points after scores from Egan and Colm Moran by the 12 minute mark, but Kildare kept coming and over the next six minutes they kicked five points to Mayo’s one to lead 1-9 to 0-5.

The Westerns stemmed the tide through a brace of Egan frees with Padraig Walsh responding for the Lillywhites.

Mayo rattled their first major eight minutes before the break when Ryan O’Donoghue broke from the 40m line and sold a great dummy before driving the ball to the corner of the net to live three between the sides on a score of 1-10 to 1-7 in favour of the Leinster champions.

Hyland tagged on three more excellent points for his side before the break with Mayo keeping in touch thanks to a points from Evan O’Brien and Egan to leave Kildare four to the good at the turnaround.

Mayo started the second half very brightly with Conor Diskin and Colm Moran landing points inside the first three minutes to cut the gap back to just two points, but Hyland once again came to the fore and rolled off four points over the next 15 minutes to put his side six clear and looking home and hosed.

Conor Diskin and DJ Earley Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Mayo though kept plugging away and started to reel in the gap and four minutes from the end of time full forward Ross Egan was put through on goal, but his effort was brilliantly saved by Aaron O’Neill in the Kildare goal.

Paddy O’Malley landed a 45′ and Egan tapped over a free to bring it back to a three point game as time ticked down, but that man Hyland was the one to steady the Kildare nerves with a well taken score and despite the Westerners best efforts Kildare hung on to win the title.

Scorers for Kildare: Jimmy Hyland (0-10, 2f), Brian McLoughlin (1-2), Paddy Woodgate (0-2), Aaron Masterson (0-2), Tony Archbold (0-1), Padraig Nash (0-1)

Scorers for Mayo: Ross Egan (0-7, 7f), Ryan O’Donoghue (1-2, 1f), Colm Moran (0-3), Evan O’Brien (0-1), Conor Diskin (0-1), Oisin McLaughlin (0-1), Patrick O’Malley (0-1, 1 45’)

Kildare

1. Aaron O’Neill (Carbury)

2. Mark Dempsey (Moorfield)
3. Mark Barrett (Ballymore Eustace)
4. DJ Early (Monasterevan)

5. Darragh Ryan (Sarsfields)
6. Jason Gibbons (Kilcock)
19. Jack Bambrick (Ardclough)

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

10. Stephen Comerford (Round Towers)
11. Padraig Nash (Monasterevan)
12. Tony Archibold (Celbridge)

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

Subs: 18. Mattew Betts-Symonds (Raheens) for Early (BC), 21. Mark Glynn (St Laurances) for Marnell, 17. John O’Toole (Monasterevan) for Bambrick, 23. Cian Costigan (Sarsfields) for Nash, 24. Sam Doran (Johnstownbridge) for McLoughlin, 7. Shane O’Sullivan for Hyland

Mayo

1. Patrick O’Malley (Westport)

2. Johnny Maughan (Castlebar Mitchels)
3. Brian O’Malley (Westport)
4. John Cunnane (Ballyhaunis)

5. Paul Lambert (Westport)
6. Cathal Horan (Kilmovee Shamrocks)
7. Oisin McLaughlin (Westport)

8. Evan O’Brien (Ballinrobe)
9. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)

10. Nathan Moran (Hollymount-Carramore)
11. Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet)
12. Tommy Conroy (The Neale)

13. Conor Diskin (Claremorris)
14. Ross Egan (Aghamore)
15. Colm Moran (Westport)

Subs: 20. Joe Dawson (Louisburgh) for Maughan, 22. John Gallagher (Mayo Gaels) for O’Brien, 19. Liam Hughes (Mayo Gaels) for Conroy, 23. Stephen McGreal (Claremorris) for Moran, 21. Sean Og Tigue (Aghamore) for Horan (BC)

Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh)

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About the author:

Colm Gannon

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