Friday 19 January 2018

Minors ready for Kildare challenge

Rory Kerr

MEMORIES of the epic 2010 clash will hopefully bring a big crowd down to Parnell Park on Saturday as Cyril Kevlihan's Dublin minors take on Kildare for a place in this year's provincial decider (3pm throw-in).


The All Ireland champions were pushed all the way by Louth in the first round before two crucial scores from Con O'Callaghan saw them prevail in extra time.

O'Callaghan was again to the fore as Dublin recorded a 0-17 to 0-9 win over Wexford in the quarter final but Saturday's fixture should be a much closer affair.

Three years ago a Dublin team containing Fingal stars Danny Byrne, Harry Dawson, Michael Gibbs and Colin Murphy was held to a draw for a second time by a formidable Kildare team

Kildare would eventually win out at the third time of asking with Paul Gribbin the big difference on the night and Dublin boss Kevlihan believes Kildare hold a bit of an advantage in terms of physicality.

'Kildare are very strong. The bulk of their panel would have been there last year. Physically they are up to their age group so we would be a young enough team.

'We played them in the league final this year and we sneaked it in the end with two goals that probably came against the run of play.

'There is a great rivalry and respect between the two counties, it's going to be tight and it's a challenge we are looking forward to.'

The team is captained by goalkeeper Lorcan Molloy a survivor from last years all conquering side with Jack Burke (Maurs), Alan Kavanagh, Jack Hazley (both Sylvesters), Shane McGrath (St Pats Donabate) and Ciaran Smith (Skerries Harps) making up the Fingal contingent.

In recent years Dublin underage teams have handed out some heavy scores to visiting county sides but that is a trend that has not been evident so far this year.

The under-21 footballers suffered a shock defeat to Longford in March in their own back garden (both the minor and under-21 hurlers also suffered first round defeats at the same venue) and Kevlihan expects that Leinster will be far more competitive in years to come.

'It's very competitive in Leinster and there is only a kick of the ball between a number of the counties. All counties are well prepared now they have good organisation around their development squads

'Young lads are being prepared over the years for representative counties so it's not the big ordeal it once was. A lot of them have been wearing the county jerseys since under-14 so this is just another stage.'

Fingal Independent

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