John McVitty/INPHO Kildare's James McGrath and Luke Killian celebrate.

Captain Browne leads by example as Kildare reach first All-Ireland U20 final in four years

Browne scored five points in Kildare’s five-point victory over Sligo.



KILDARE CAPTAIN AARON Browne scored five points as they defeated Sligo in Breffni Park, Cavan to reach their first All-Ireland U20 Final since winning the title in 2018.

It wasn’t a classic by any means but Kildare just about held the edge thanks to the finishing of Browne and some heroic performances in defence, led by corner backs Harry O’Neill and Mark Maguire.

Kildare scored the first four points of the game before Oisin Duffy opened the Sligo account in the 18th minute.

The score was 0-5 to 0-3 heading into the last couple of minutes of the first half but crucially, Kildare were able to stretch that lead to five by the half time break as Browne scored twice, to bring his first half tally to four, either side of a Niall O’Regan point.

But it was Kildare who struggled to score in the early part of the second half, they scored just once in the first 22 minutes, and Sligo were able to build momentum.

dean-odonoghue-scores John McVitty / INPHO Kildare's Dean O'Donoghue scores. John McVitty / INPHO / INPHO

Joseph Keaney, Canice Mulligan and Eoghan Smith all scored as Sligo cut the Kildare lead back to two points.

Just as control of the game was starting to slip away from them, Tommy Gill landed a free from just inside the 45 metre line and 60 seconds later Browne scored his fifth point to push Kildare four clear with seven minutes to go.

After that, Kildare defended well and repelled all that Sligo had to throw at them and full-back Dean O’Donoghue secured the win with an injury time point.

Scorers for Kildare: A Browne 0-5, N O’Regan 0-2, T Gill 0-2 (0-1f), D Lynam 0-1, A Fanning 0-1, D O’Donoghue 0-1.

Scorers for Sligo: J Keaney 0-2, O Flynn 0-1, L Duignan 0-1f, G Duffy 0-1, C Mulligan 0-1, E Smith 0-1.

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

Subs: Darragh Swords for Lynam (41),  Dalton for Bagnall (46), Jack McKevitt for Fanning (56), Tomas Von Engelbrechten for O’Regan (60+1), Tom Martin for Farrell (60+3).

SLIGO: Cian Kilcoyne; Conor Johnston, Shane Molloy, Mark McGowan; Canics Mulligan, Jack Lavin, Dylan Walsh; Joseph Keaney, Feidlim O’Donnell; James Donlon, Lew Duignan, Oisin Flynn; Gavin Duffy, Eoghan Smith, Jack Davitt.

Subs: Luke Casserly for Flynn (half-time), Luke Marren for Duffy (36), Matt Henry for Walsh (46), Oisin Gorman for Smith (55), Ciaran O’Reilly for O’Donnell (55).

Referee: M McNally (Monaghan)

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