Jimmy Hyland haul sees Kildare reclaim customary position

Kildare 2-15 Longford 1-9: Kildare collected their second Leinster minor title in three years with a comfortable nine-point victory over Longford.

Jimmy Hyland haul sees Kildare reclaim customary position

Champions two years ago, the Lilywhites were beaten in last year’s final by Dublin but they returned to the top table in Leinster with a commanding display at Croke Park. Man of the match Jimmy Hyland finished with 0-8 for the winners as the Kildare forwards caused havoc.

A sublime first-half goal from Conor Hartley had given Kildare the edge but Longford were still in contention approaching half-time. Kildare bagged 1-4 either side of half-time to end the game as a contest.

In the end, it was a cake-walk for Brendan Hackett’s side. Once corner-forward Ciaran Kelly netted Kildare’s second goal four minutes into the second half, it was curtains for Longford. At the three-quarter stage, there was 12 points between the side and Longford’s late goal was scarcely even a consolation.

It is hard to see how Longford will be able to pick themselves up for the All-Ireland quarter-finals but Kildare can head into the All-Ireland series full of confidence. None more so than star man Hyland, who was a real livewire in Croke Park.

Despite the final scoreline, it was tight and tense in the early exchanges, as you would expect from two young teams on such a big stage.

However, when Kildare found the net through Hartley in the 11th minute, the boys in white settled and picked off two crucial points in first-half injury-time to open up a five-point cushion at the interval.

All was not lost for Longford while they trailed 1-6 to 0-4, but they were blown out of the water at the start of the second half.

Hyland pointed within two minutes of the restart and Kelly fired home a superb second goal two minutes later following a beautifully weighted pass from midfielder Rory Feely.

Hyland added another fine point as Kildare scored 1-3 without reply in the early stages of the second half. Longford added just two points in a dismal third quarter and were reduced to playing for pride long before the finish.

Midfielder Conor Berry did at least net a late consolation goal for the midlanders, although Kildare could have added more goals. Substitute Kevin O’Callaghan was denied by a brilliant block in the dying seconds but Aaron Murphy coolly converted the resulting 45 to conclude a fabulous afternoon for the young Lilies.

Scorers for Kildare:

J Hyland (0-8, 1 free); C Kelly (1-2, 1 free); C Hartley (1-1); B McLoughlin (0-2); A Murphy (45) and E O’Donoghue (0-1 each).

Scorers for Longford:

C Berry (1-2); J Matthews (0-2, 1 free); R Hawkins, P Lynn, C Finnan, D Doherty, L Barry (0-1 each).

KILDARE:

D Campbell; R Slattery, M Joyce, D Lawlor; S Doran, S Ryan, S Healy; D Courtney, R Feely; C Hartley, E O’Donoghue, B McLoughlin; C Kelly, M Kelly, J Hyland.

Subs:

S Lawlor for Doran, BC (24); K O’Callaghan for M Kelly (49); G Burke for Slattery (51); E O’Neill for McLoughlin (53); A Murphy for C Kelly (55).

LONGFORD:

M Hughes; M Cahill, R Sheahan, C Lee; C Brady, C Farrell, K Sorohan; C Berry, E Farrell; C McCabe, P Lynn, J Matthews; R Hawkins, P Hanley, D Doherty.

Subs:

L Barry for Lee, inj (13); R Harkins for Brady, (39); J Heaney for Hawkins (40); R Brady for Doherty, (43); C Finnan for McCabe (51); N Devlin for Sorohan (56).

REF:

F Smyth (Offaly).

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.