EirGrid Leinster U-20 Football Championship Final
Kildare 1-15, Dublin 0-10
Kildare captured the first ever Leinster Under 20 football title with a comprehensive victory over Dublin at Bord na Mona O’Connor Park.
With morale in football circles on a high after their senior team’s defeat of Mayo, Kildare captured this title after dominating the contest from the 23rd minute on.
The sides were level on three occasions in the opening 20 minutes, with Dublin edging ahead on each occasion, only for Kildare to quickly respond.
The Dubs then went two clear through James Doran and Sean Bulger, but Kildare enjoyed a great spell in the ten minutes (including injury-time) before the interval, hitting seven scores without reply to lead by 0-10 to 0-5.
Jimmy Hyland and Padraig Nash were prominent in attack during this dominant period for the Lilywhites, with Hyland contributing half of his side’s tally in the opening 30 minutes.
Kildare ‘keeper Aaron O’Neill did well to stop the only goal-scoring chance of the first half, when he blocked Tom Keane’s close-range effort in the 26th minute, as Dublin tried to stem the tide.
But the Lilywhites continued to hold the upper-hand at midfield after the resumption, with captain Aaron Masterson in fine form. And with DJ Earley man-marking James Madden to great effect, Dublin struggled to make inroads.
Substitute Shane O’Sullivan kicked a fine point in the 41st minute, while Hyland continued to cause havoc on the full forward line, eventually bringing his personal tally to 0-8.
He was also fouled for a late penalty which Tony Archbold dispatched to the net on a memorable night for the Kildare players and their supporters in Tullamore.
Scorers for Kildare: Jimmy Hyland 0-8 (6fs), Tony Archbold 1-1 (1-0 pen), Padraig Nash 0-3, Paddy Woodgate, Brian McLoughlin, Shane O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Dublin: Tom Keane 0-4 (1f), Seán Bugler 0-3, James Doran, Cormac Howley & Ross McGarry 0-1 each
KILDARE: Aaron O’Neill; Mark Dempsey, Mark Barrett, DJ Earley; Tony Archbold, Jack Bambrick, Jason Gibbons; Aaron Masterson, David Marnell; Darragh Ryan, Padraig Nash, Ruadhán O’Giolláin; Paddy Woodgate, Brian McLoughlin, Jimmy Hyland.
Subs: Matthew Betts Symonds for Bambrick (14, blood), Shane O’Sullivan for Nash (38) Cian Costigan for Marnell (49), Sam Doran for Woodgate (53), Niall Murphy for McLoughlin (60), Jack Barrett for Earley (60+3), Matthew Betts Symonds for Murphy (60+3, black card).
DUBLIN: David O’Hanlon; Ciaran Smith, Nathan Doran, Nathan Nolan; Kieran Kennedy, Neil Matthews, Eoin O’Dea; Donal Ryan, Sean Bugler; Tom Keane, James Madden, Ross McGarry; Dan O’Brien, James Doran, Cormac Howley.
Subs: Karl Lynch Bissett for Howley (34), James Holland for O’Brien (43), Simon King for McGarry (52), Eoghan Fitzpatrick for Ryan (56), Daniel Brennan for Doran (58).
REFEREE: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow).