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O'Connor to the fore as Kildare overwhelm DIT

Kildare never had to get out of first gear against DIT, as they got the defence of their title off to a successful start at St Conleth's Park.

First-half goals from Padraig O'Neill and Ronan Sweeney gave the champions an eight-point lead at the break and, with their defence in complete control, they did not give up that advantage.

DIT managed only one score from play, courtesy of substitute David Shatwell -- despite fielding Mayo pair Aidan O'Shea and Alan Freeman, they were subdued as an attacking force.

Tomas O'Connor was a constant threat at full-forward for the Lilies and had a hand in both the goals.

Alan Freeman registered all DIT's four first-half points from frees and added two more after the interval.

Scorers -- Kildare: P O'Neill, R Sweeney 1-2 each, F Dowling, E O'Flaherty (f) and J Kavanagh 0-2 each, M Conway 0-1f. DIT: A Freeman 0-6f, B Allen 0-2f, D Shatwell 0-1.

Kildare -- S Connolly; P Kelly, C Fitzpatrick, O Lyons; B Flanagan, G White, E O'Flaherty; D Flynn, R Sweeney; E Callaghan, M Conway, P O'Neill; A Smith, T O'Connor, F Dowling. Subs: J Kavanagh for Callaghan (h-t), D Lawler for Dowling (49), M Scanlon for Flanagan (49), K Donnelly for O'Neill (61), C Brophy for Sweeney (61).

DIT -- A O'Mara (Cavan); J Gallagher (Donegal), N Devereaux (Dublin), R Tierney (Wexford); P Cunningham (Dublin), C Walshe (Monaghan), D Hughes (Monaghan); A O'Shea (Mayo), R Hazley (Dublin); P Sharry (Westmeath), D Nelson (Dublin), A Nestor (Meath); B Allen (Offaly), E Reilly (Meath), A Freeman (Mayo) . Subs: A McLoughlin (Wicklow) for Gallagher (17), M Schutte (Dublin) for Nestor (25), D Shatwell (Dublin) for Cunningham (33), C Walsh (Dublin) for Hazley (60), S Flynn for Sharry (69).

REF -- J Curley (Meath)

Irish Independent