McHugh goal the key score as Dubs see off Lilywhites
Dublin 2-16 Kildare 1-8
CiarAn Kilkenny was acting as water boy for Dublin and one of the country's brightest dual talents must have been impressed by the performances of two more potential stars of the two codes as the Blues produced a powerful second-half performance to book a Leinster final berth against Meath.
Conor McHugh, Cormac Costello and Eric Lowndes all won Leinster hurling medals last Sunday and the first two, in particular, played a major part in cutting Kildare down at St Conleth's Park.
The teams were evenly matched in the early exchanges and shared six points after just 10 minutes. A Neil Flynn goal, allied to two outstanding saves by Colin Heaney, kept Kildare in touch, with Costello bagging four points for Dublin.
Dessie Farrell's young charges were well on top in the third quarter, but over-elaboration led to too many turnovers.
The key score was McHugh's 35th-minute goal when the sides were still level. The Na Fianna man brilliantly side-stepped his marker and when 'keeper Heaney advanced, he repeated the trick to create sufficient space and slide the ball to the net.
Wayne Fitzpatrick offered Kildare hope with an excellent point soon after. But Dublin lofted over four points on the trot before Costello found the net 10 minutes from time to remove any doubt about the verdict.
Scorers -- Dublin: C Costello 1-5 (0-2f); C McHugh 1-3; N Scully 0-3; N Walsh 0-2; Shane Cunningham, R Gaughan, S Carthy ('45') 0-1 each. Kildare: N Flynn 1-1; P Brophy, N Kelly 0-2 each; M Sherry, W Fitzpatrick, R Fitzgibbon 0-1 each.
Dublin -- L Molloy; E Mullan, D Byrne, R McGowan; E Lowndes, C Mulally, M Mac Donncha; Stephen Cunningham, S Carthy; R Gaughan, G Burke, N Walsh; C McHugh, C Costello. Subs: Shane Cunningham for Gaughan (25); E Fletcher for Mac Donncha (52); D Gormley for Walsh (57); J Fitzgibbon for Mulally (61).
Kildare -- C Heaney; P Mescall, S O'Hagan, E Mahon; R Houlihan, D Hyland, D Duke; M Sherry, P Connell; S O'Flynn, N Kelly; W Fitzpatrick, C Healy, P Brophy, N Flynn. Subs: T O'Connell for O'Hagan (39); C McMonagle for O'Flynn (42); K Mulhall for Mescall (48); R Fitzgibbon for Healy (48); O Gill for Sherry (55).
Ref -- D Gough (Meath)