Kilkenny in a league of his own as Dublin minors power past Kildare

KIERAN KILKENNY proved why he is one of the most exciting young talents in the country with a tour de force performance as Dublin swept Kildare aside in last night’s Leinster minor football semi-final.

This talented Dublin outfit are far more than a one-man team, but Kilkenny is the jewel in the crown.

On Sunday he will play in the Leinster MHC final against Kilkenny alongside three of his team-mates from last night — Cormac Costello, Emmet Ó Conghaile and Eric Lowndes.

That trio also played key roles in this victory, particularly Costello and Ó Conghaile, who are both giants of men for minors.

Dublin had a slight breeze at their backs in the first half and they weren’t long making good use of it as they moved 0-7 to 0-2 ahead after 15 minutes.

Kildare were already starting to looked outclassed but they gamely stuck to the task and two frees from Barry Coffey and a point from Niall Kelly brought them to within two.

Dublin simply put their foot on the accelerator again to score another necklace of four points before the break, two of them from Kilkenny, to lead 0-11 to 0-5.

There was no let up either in the second half as they blitzed Kildare with strong running and accurate shooting to score six unanswered points.

The first of those was knocked over the bar by Paul Mannion, which meant that by the first minute of the second half every Dublin forward had scored from play.

When Kildare briefly gave themselves reason for cheer with a brace of points, Dublin simply went down the field and scored the first goal of the game courtesy of a canny finish from Mannion.

From there Dublin free-wheeled home, scoring another eight points before the end, with that man Kilkenny claiming five of them.

Scorers for Dublin: C Kilkenny 0-11 (4f); G Ivory 0-5 (1 45); P Mannion 1-1; C Costello 0-3, D Campbell 0-2, S Fulham, J McCaffrey 0-1 each

Scorers for Kildare: N Kelly 0-3 (2f); B Coffey 0-2 (2f); P Brophy, F Conway, T Gibbons, D King, D Duke, D Hyland 0-1 each

DUBLIN: R O’Hanlon; G Hannigan, R McDaid, R Real; J McCaffrey, J Small, E Lownes; E Ó Conghaile, P O’Higgins; C Costello, D Campbell, G Ivory; S Fulham, C Kilkenny, P Mannion. Subs: A O’Brien for S Fulham (53), C Meaney for C Costello (54), D O’Broin for R Real (57), R Malone for C Kilkenny (59), M McDonagh for P Higgins (60)

KILDARE: S McNamara; B Egan, S O’Hagan, S Higgins; D Duke, J Murray, D Hyland; G Farrell, D Flynn; P Brophy, F Conway, B Coffey; T Gibbons, N Kelly, D King. Subs: C Brady for B Coffey (37), T O’Connell for D Flynn (43), S Christiansen for G Farrell (43).

Referee: D Maher (Westmeath).

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