Dublin minors cruise to Leinster crown

Dublin 3-16 Kildare 1-12

Dublin minors cruise to Leinster crown

Dublin 3-16 Kildare 1-12

A hat-trick of first-half goals provided the platform for victory as Dublin secured their 32nd Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football title - and a third provincial success in four years at Croke Park this afternoon.

Cyril Kevlihan’s charges got off to a tense start and were 0-4 to 0-1 behind after just eight minutes, but three goals in a nine-minute spell set the tone for this victory.

Sean Dempsey, Paul Mescal and Evan Flynn were on target with Kildare’s early points, before Dublin launched a response.

Kildare led by 0-5 to 0-3 after 12 minutes following a Michael Kelly score, before Dublin really took hold.

Team captain Con O’Callaghan led by example, and he bagged the first goal after 13 minutes, to push Dublin ahead for only the second time.

Warren Egan further extended the Metropolitans advantage with a well taken point, but Kildare regained the lead after a Sean Dempsey goal put them 1-5 to 1-4 in front.

Chris Sallier was composed to take a well struck point which levelled the tie midway through the half, before a brace of O’Callaghan points saw Dublin move in front by the 17th minute.

Dublin never eased up and outscored their opponents by 2-3 to 0-1 inside a six-minute spell.

Colm Basquel fired Dublin’s second goal after 18 minutes, and although Kildare pegged a point back from Kelly, Aaron Byrne completed the Metropolitans hat-trick, eight minutes before the break.

Dublin moved 3-9 to 1-6 ahead after 26 minutes following an O’Callaghan point, but Kildare claimed the final two points of the half to ensure a seven-point gap at the break.

Scores were at a premium for Kildare in the second half, but Sean Dempsey quickly cancelled out an early Basquel point for Dublin.

Kildare only managed one further point in the third quarter, with Dublin taking a 3-14 to 1-10 lead at this stage.

Dublin went in search of a fourth goal at the start of the final quarter with Na Fianna clubman Aaron Byrne launching a blazing shot, however Kildare keeper Tadhg Foley pulled off a superb save.

The Kildare defence was under huge pressure over the remainder of the hour with the sides were well balanced in the scoring stakes during the closing stages, equaling sharing four points, but Dublin had done enough.

After the game Dublin captain Con O’Callaghan received the cup from Leinster GAA Chairman John Horan.

Scorers for Dublin: C O’Callaghan (2f) 1-7; A Byrne, C Basquel 1-2 each; C Sallier, J Burke, W Egan, E McHugh, G O’Reilly 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kildare: S Dempsey (3f, 1 45) 1-5; E Boyle, M Kelly 0-2 each; C Kavanagh, E Flynn, C Hartley 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: E Whelan; C Murphy, J Mullins, E Murchan; A Fee, S Clayton, G O’Reilly; A Foley, E McHugh; W Egan, C Basquel, J Burke; A Byrne, C O’Callaghan, C Sallier. Subs: D Monahan for Murphy (HT); A Elliot for Egan (47); D McIlgorm for Foley (50); B Howard for Sallier (54); A McGowan for Fee (57); C Kavanagh for O’Reilly (58);

KILDARE: T Foley; S Healy, M Hyland, A Scully; J Flynn, P Mescal, C Earley; E Boyle, C Kavanagh, E Flynn; C Hartley, R Feely; M Kelly, S Dempsey, S Lawlor. Subs: B McCormack for Lawlor (HT); M Bursey for Feely (39); J Corrigan for M Kelly (40); P Murray for Hartley (49); J Healy for Earley (57);

REFEREE: John Hickey (Carlow).

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