WICKLOW GARDAI 2-19 KILDARE GARDAI 0-07
THE WICKLOW Garda Divisional football team retained their Leinster Regional football championship title on Wednesday last with a stunning 2-19 to 0-7 win over neighbours Kildare Division.
The platform for success was laid in the first half.
Conditions were perfect for the game at the Westmanstown Garda Sports and Conference Centre, Lucan.
The Wicklow team who were beaten in the All-Ireland final last year by Galway are hoping to go one better this time around.
They have been strengthened by the addition of Tipperary Senior footballer Brian Coen and Wicklow man Jim Cushe who have recently transferred into the Wicklow Division.
Coen has been a revelation and contributed a total of 11 points in this game. He had a similar return in the semi-final against Laois/Offaly.
This game was virtually over as a contest after 30 minutes with Wicklow leading on a scoreline of 1-10 to 0-4.
Corner forward Coen posted eight of the Wicklow points whilst full forward Paul O'Sullivan scored the goal after a quicksilver build up involving Damian Fenlon and Shay Ryan.
There was to be no respite for the Lily Whites in the second half as Wicklow continued to pile on the pressure all the way to the final whistle.
Kildare had their best period between the 42nd and 54th minutes when they outscored their opponents by 0-3 to 01 but the margin was too big to engender hopes of a recovery.
Wicklow's second goal was scored after 37 minutes by man of the match Alan Kelly playing in the wing back position.
His centre back colleague Anto Russell combined to put the Bray man in to score.
The game was played in a very sporting manner with remarkably few frees.
Wicklow now go forward to an All-Ireland semi-final next month.
Their opponents are unknown but last year's rivals Galway and Kerry are both still in the competition.
The Dublin Regional final has not been finalised but the Dublin South Central Division managed by Wicklow resident John Keane are still lurking. One of this four will emerge as the winner.
Scorers: Wicklow: Brian Coen 0-11 (2f), Paul O'Sullivan 1-0, Alan Kelly 1-0, Conrad Casey 0-2, Shay Ryan 0-2, Timmy Stokes 0-2, Eddie Black and Seamus Grey 0-1 each.
Kildare: Kevin Williamson 0-3 (2f), Larry Donlon, Dave Marsh, Tom Bowe and Pat Dore 0-1 each.
Wicklow: Canice Dowling, Paschal Carley, Paddy Phelan, Eoin Mc Hugh, Alan Kelly, Anto Russell, Jim Cushe, Darragh Mc Evoy, Seamus Grey, Timmy Stokes, Shay Ryan, Damian Fenlon, Conrad Casey, Paul O'Sullivan, Brian Coen. Subs: barney Carroll for Dowling, Kevin Donegan for Carley, Declan Byrne for Fenlon, Eddie Black for O'Sullivan.