Kildare and Dublin will contest this season’s EirGrid Leinster Under 20 Football Championship final after semi-final victories this weekend.
Kildare defeated Offaly by 3-14 to 2-5 at Bord na Mona O’Connor Park on Friday evening, while Dublin ousted Meath by 4-16 to 2-10 at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday evening.
In Tullamore, the Lilywhites led by 2-7 to 2-1 at half time, after a blistering start which saw them surge 2-5 to no score ahead after only eight minutes. Early goals were netted by Paddy Woodgate and Brian McLoughlin, as a stunned Offaly side struggled to make an impact.
Eventually, Conor Dunne lifted the home side’s spirits with a goal and Kevin McDermott drove through for a second before the interval.
The tempo dropped in the intense heat in Tullamore as the second half wore on. Kildare eased further ahead, and Brian McLoughlin fisted their third and his second goal in the 45th minute.
Twenty-four hours later, a James Doran goal at the start of each half sent Dublin on their way to a big win over Meath. These strikes shocked the hosts, and they failed to get into the game as a result.
Along with Doran, Dublin’s two inside forwards of Ross McGarry and Tom Keane top scored for Tom Grey’s side. Both were hugely impressive all evening and their elusive running style was too hot for Meath to handle.
Frank O’Reilly blasted home a penalty to leave them only trailing by 1-8 to 1-5 at the interval.
Dublin took over with a full press in the second half from the formidable midfield pairing of Donal Ryan and Sean Bugler pinning Meath back and gave the Dublin platform for their forwards to thrive. McGarry and Karl Lynch Bissett added a brace of goals after Meath’s Ethan Devine had a goal cancelled out for a square ball.