Leinster Senior Football Championship Final: Dublin 2-23, Kildare 1-17
Another record-breaking achievement by the Dublin footballers today as they celebrated with the Delaney Cup in front of Hill 16 for the seventh year in a row.
No county has ever gained a stranglehold on the Leinster Championship like this current crop of Dublin heroes. Offaly prevented the county’s previous bid for a seventh successive title in 1980, but Kildare’s best efforts only brought them to within nine points at the final whistle.
Goals from Dean Rock and James McCarthy in the 10th and 11th minutes gave Dublin just the start that underdogs Kildare required in front of over 66,000 supporters at Croke Park.
The Lilywhites, to their credit, came storming back to only trail by four points (2-8 to 0-10) at the interval. But the best was yet to come from Dublin, who blitzed their opponents with a third quarter surge.
With Con O’Callaghan and Bernard Brogan (who came in for the black-carded Dean Rock) in unstoppable form, Dublin hit a further nine points between the 36th and 52nd minutes, and only conceded two at the other end.
Cuala star O’Callaghan finished with 0-12, six from play, while Brogan showed what he is still capable of with five wonderful points.
Kildare’s cause was doomed once they failed to make inroads after the resumption, and were left to rue a missed goal chance in the 42nd minute, when Daniel Flynn broke through but was denied by Stephen Cluxton.
A goal then would have cut Kildare’s deficit to just three points, but they didn’t get a shot past the Dublin captain until the closing moments when Paddy Brophy finished to the net.
It was actually Dublin’s first goal to concede in the 2017 Leinster Championship, following clean-sheets and big victories over Carlow and Westmeath.
Scorers for Dublin: Con O’Callaghan 0-12 (0-6f), Dean Rock 1-0, James McCarthy 1-0, Bernard Brogan 0-5, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-2, Paul Mannion 0-1, Paddy Andrews 0-1, Shane Carthy 0-1, Brian Howard 0-1.
Scorers for Kildare: Paddy Brophy 1-3 (0-1f), Kevin Feely 0-5 (0-4f), Daniel Flynn 0-2, Cathal McNally 0-2, Keith Cribbin 0-1, David Slattery 0-1, Johnny Byrne 0-1, Niall Kelly 0-1, Fionn Dowling 0-1.
DUBLIN: Stephen Cluxton; Philly McMahon, Cian O’Sullivan, Michael Fitzsimons; Eric Lowndes, John Small, Jack McCaffrey; James McCarthy, Brian Fenton; Con O’Callaghan, Ciaran Kilkenny, Niall Scully; Paul Mannion, Paddy Andrews, Dean Rock. Subs: Bernard Brogan for Rock (24, black card), Shane Carthy for Scully (47), Darren Daly for McMahon (48), Kevin McManamon for Andrews (52), David Byrne for O’Sullivan (58), Brian Howard for Fenton (67).
KILDARE: Mark Donnellan; Mick O’Grady, Ollie Lyons, David Hyland; Keith Cribbin, Eoin Doyle, Johnny Byrne; Kevin Feely, Tommy Mooolick; David Slattery, Niall Kelly, Fergal Conway; Cathal McNally, Daniel Flynn, Paddy Brophy. Subs: Paul Cribbin for Conway (44), Fionn Dowling for Moolick (49), Peter Kelly for Doyle (52), B McCormack for McNally (57), Emmet Bolton for Byrne (63), Eamonn Callaghan for Feely (64, black card).
Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow).