DCU and Kildare to contest O'Byrne Cup final

Holders Kildare won through to face DCU in the O'Byrne Cup final after getting the better of an understrength Dublin side in Newbridge this afternoon.

Holders Kildare won through to face DCU in the O'Byrne Cup final after getting the better of an understrength Dublin side in Newbridge this afternoon.

Despite hitting a number of poor wides, the Lilywhites did enough to pull off a 1-11 to 0-8 win over the All-Ireland champions, with penalty scorer Ronan Sweeney scoring 1-1.

The hosts had to do it the hard way after wing back Eoghan O'Flaherty was sent-off in the 30th minute for his second bookable offence.

A total of 6,086 spectators turned out to watch their Leinster rivals go head-to-head, with early points from Alan Smith and Sweeney setting Kildare on their way.

Paddy Andrews weaved through for a fisted point for Dublin and a 27th minute free from Mossie Quinn brought the visitors level.

In a physical encounter full of robust challenges, O'Flaherty received his marching orders from referee Eddie Kinsella. However, two more points from Smith nosed Kildare ahead for the break at 0-5 to 0-4, with Quinn replying for Pat Gilroy's side.

Into the second half, Hugh McGrillen came on to point from the right wing and increase the home lead. Dublin lacked firepower and Quinn was their top scorer, finishing with five placed balls including one from the sideline.

In the 47th minute referee Kinsella adjudged that Sean Murray had fouled Kildare full-forward Tomas O'Connor for a penalty. Midfielder Sweeney stepped up to convert the kick, firing low to the right of goalkeeper Michael Savage.

Scores from Conway, James Kavanagh and Fionn Dowling added some more cushion for Kildare, and Dublin's hopes diminished further with the dismissal of Paul Brogan.

Bryan Cullen and Kevin McManamon provided some momentum for the Dubs in the closing stages, but the gap was too wide and Kieran McGeeney's men marched on.

A goal in each half from Sligo's David Kelly paved the way for a 2-8 to 0-6 DCU victory over Meath in the first of the O'Byrne Cup semi-finals last night.

Kelly's first goal in the 15th minute was DCU's opening score and gave the students a 1-0 to 0-2 lead in Navan.

Meath struggled to make use of their wind advantage in the opening half with DCU continuing to look dangerous.

Scores from Laois's Colm Begley and Jack Brady of Cavan opened up a 1-2 to 0-2 lead after 19 minutes. Paddy Gilsenan and Kelly traded points as DCU led by 1-3 to 0-3 at half-time.

The Dublin college extended their lead to eight points within nine minutes of the restart, with Kelly netting his second goal which was bookended by points from Dublin's Dean Rock.

Meath only managed three second half points, including a Gilsenan effort 16 minutes from the end, but DCU ultimately enjoyed a comfortable passage through to the final.

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