Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 25 February 2018

Grehan puts seal on title for Kildare

Kildare 2-15 Longford 3-8

Kildare picked up their second Leinster title in three years following an entertaining final in Newbridge.

Kildare picked up their second Leinster title in three years following an entertaining final in Newbridge.

The fact that Sean Hurley played no part in proceedings might have offered some sort of a pointer towards what Kieran McGeeney is thinking ahead of the Lilywhites' Leinster SFC semi-final against Dublin.

The introduction of two other senior panellists certainly had a significant impact though, with Cathal McNally and Johnny Byrne playing influential roles.

A Brendan Devine goal after six minutes set Longford on their way, but once Cian Bolton scored Kildare's first goal in the 14th minute, the home side became dominant.

Bolton and Seamus Hanafin landed some eye-catching scores and despite Paddy Dowd's penalty in the 24th minute for Longford, Kildare went in with a 1-8 to 2-4 half-time lead. NcNally added further impetus to the Kildare attack and he finished off a sweet move in the 40th minute for Kildare's second goal.

Byrne, who was introduced early on after an injury to Keith Cribbin, grabbed two points as Kildare moved six clear with five minutes to go.

Darragh Bennett's scrambled goal in the 60th minute briefly gave Longford hopes of a comeback but Daniel Grehan sealed the Kildare win with an injury-time point.

SCORERS – Kildare: C Bolton 1-3 (2fs), C McNally 1-1, K Cribbin, H Mahon, S Hanafin (2fs), J Byrne 0-2 each, G Waters, P Mahon, D Grehan 0-1 each. Longford: P Dowd 1-1 (0-1f), B Devine, D Bennett 1-0 each, M Hughes, P McKeon 0-2 each, D Mimnagh, B McKeon, M Mulvey 0-1 each.

KILDARE – W Clynch; J O'Connor, W Burke, P Warren; D Duke, D Barker, C O'Shea; K Cribbin, S Darcy; H Mahon, S Hanafin, C Fagan; P Mahon, C Bolton, E Powderly. Subs: J Byrne for Cribbin (18), C McNally for Powderly (h-t); G Waters for Duke (h-t); D Grehan for Burke (44).

LONGFORD – P Collum; R Keogh, B O'Farrell, B Devine; S Powell, D Bennett, M Duffy; J Kane, D Gallagher; D Mimnagh, P McKeon, S Doyle; M Hughes, P Dowd, M Mulvey. Subs: G Dennigan for Kane (25), B McKeon for Mulvey (h-t), JP Reilly for Powell (40), J Martin for P McKeon (50).

REF – F Smyth (Offaly).

Irish Independent

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