Dublin 0-24 Kildare 0-19 (after extra time)
Dublin ended Kildare’s recent dominance of the Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup at the end of a hugely entertaining game that needed extra time to produce a definitive result.
Dean Rock continued his scoring exploits so far this season with 10 points, all bar one of which came from placed balls, while Kevin McManamon bustled around with serious intent, slotting five from play on his way to being named man of the match.
Despite that, Kildare almost snatched a three-in-a-row in the fourth minute of injury time when substitute, Michael Darragh Macauley was sent off after an altercation off the ball with a Kildare player.
That presented Darroch Mulhall with a chance on the 45 but the Athy man didn’t connect as sweetly as he had done seven other frees prior to that and his effort stayed left of the upright.
Kildare managed to remain in touch in the opening period of extra time but Dublin scored four points to none in the final section to seal the verdict.
This was a very entertaining game in which the energy levels were very high and while there might have been an absence of ferocity in the exchanges, there was a real intent about the attacking play.
For a large part, that was matched by the standard of finishing, with Kildare, in particular, kicking some incredible scores from play.
Goal opportunities were at a premium however. Kildare had one early in the first half when Tomás O’Connor slipped attempting to side-step Dublin goalkeeper Seán Currie, while in the second half, Kildare netminder, Mark Donnellan got his finger-tips to a low shot at the end of a typically-speedy run by Jack McCaffrey.
The opening 12 minutes were evenly matched, as reflected by the scoreline of 0-3 apiece, but Dublin gradually asserted themselves, troubling Kildare with their movement and pressure on the ball.
Rock and Darroch Mulhall have been notably high scorers throughout the tournament and they were key contributors from placed balls.
Rock had two of the opening three points for Dublin, while Mulhall was responsible for all Kildare’s before Jim Gavin’s men pulled clear.
They scored six points on the trot to assume an apparently significant lead. Rock and Kevin McManamon provided two each but Kildare landed four outstanding efforts, the run kickstarted by a 45m free from Eamonn Murphy, to reduce the margin.
A Rock free made it 0-10 to 0-7 at the interval but after a period of consolidation early in the second half, when Eamonn Callaghan sent over two fabulous points for the home side, while Rock also landed a brace, Kildare went on another four-point spurt.
Mulhall converted two frees and Padraig O’Neill and Fionn Dowling were also on the mark.
Suddenly, Jason Ryan’s men were in front, 0-14 to 0-13 with under nine minutes remaining.
Rock and the industrious Tomás Brady pushed the visitors in front but Mulhall equalised once more before Padraig Fogarty looked to have kicked a 68th minute winner.
As Dublin pushed forward, it was corner-back Eoin Culligan who popped up to bring us to extra time.
It was 0-20 to 0-19 at the end of the opening half of the supplementary period and Dublin just had that bit extra finishing power to take the honours.
D Rock 0-10(8fs, 1 45); K McManamon 0-5; T Brady 0-3, S Carthy 0-2; E O’Gara, E Culligan, J Cooper, C Costello 0-1 each
D Mulhall 0-7(fs); P Fogarty, E Callaghan 0-3 each; P O’Neill , E Murphy (fs) 0-2; F Dowling, G White 0-1 each
S Currie, E Culligan, R O’Carroll, M Fitzsimons, N Devereux, J Small, J McCaffrey, D Bastick, E Ó Conghaile, T Brady, D Rock, N Scully, K McManamon, E O’Gara, C Costello. Subs: J Cooper for Devereux inj (13), S Carthy for Scully (ht), P Ryan for Costello (ht), MD Macauley for Bastick (47), D Daly for McCaffrey (53), H Dawson for Brady (88), N Collins for McManamon (90)
* Bastick started extra time to restore Dublin to 15
M Donnellan, C Fitzpatrick, P Kelly, O Lyons, K Murnaghan, M O’Grady, E Doyle, H Lynch, P O’Neill, D O’Brien, E Callaghan, E Murphy, F Dowling, T O’Connor, D Mulhall. Subs: K Cribbin for Doyle (44), G White for Lynch (49), G Farrell for Fitzpatrick (51), P Fogarty for Murphy (55), D Whyte for Dowling (80), B Kinihan for O’Grady (87), W Burke for Murnaghan (90)
Referee: D Gough (Meath)