Brilliant Kildare shock Dubs in Croke Park thriller
Kildare 3-16 Dublin 3-13
Kildare progressed to the Electric Ireland Leinster MFC final as they accounted for a wasteful Dublin by three points at Croke Park yesterday.
The Dubs dominated the opening quarter in terms of possession but some poor shot selection and marksmanship undermined their control as they fell behind to successive scores by Ethan O’Donoghue and Jimmy Hyland.
However, given the gaps that were appearing in the Kildare defence, it seemed inevitable that Dublin would eventually take advantage with Tom Fox cracking home a superb goal past Declan Campbell in the 5th minute.
Kildare restored parity through Ciaran Kelly but with Donal McIlgorm impressing at midfield, Dublin regained their lead as Shane Howard added a point before securing Dublin’s second goal in the 13th minute with another excellent finish past Campbell.
The catalyst Kildare's comeback was provided by points by Matthew Kelly as he added a sublime goal in the 25th minute, firing high past Evan Comerford into the top corner and further misery was bestowed on Dublin five minutes later as Rory Feely converted a penalty after Comerford was harshly adjudged to have fouled the ball.
A 42nd minute Ciaran Kelly goal settled the tie in Kildare's favour with Paddy Small's late penalty of scant consolation to Dublin by the final whistle.
Scorers: Kildare: J Hyland 1-3 (0-2f), M Kelly 1-2, R Feely 1-1 (1-0 pen), C Hartley, C Kelly (0-1f) 0-3 each, E O’Donoghue 0-2, R Shea, S Lawler 0-1 each. S Howard 1-4, P Small 1-2 (1-0 pen), T Fox 1-0, C Howley, J Kindlon 0-2 each, J Holland, D Keating (f), C Pearson 0-1 each.
Kildare: D Campbell; R Slattery, M Joyce, D Lawlor; G Burke, S Ryan, J Healy; D Courtney, R Feely; E O’Donoghue, C Hartley, B McLoughlin; C Kelly, M Kelly, J Hyland. Subs: K O’Callaghan for Feely (10-13), S Healy for J Healy (41), S Lawler for McLoughlin (47), O’Callaghan for Courtney (58), R Bannon for Lawlor (60), E O’Neill for Joyce (62, BC).
Dublin: E Comerford; D Byrne, P O’Hanlon, J Holland; C Kavanagh, B Howard, T O’Sullivan; A Elliott, D McIlgorm; T Fox, S Howard, C Pearson; P Small, C Howley, D Keating. Subs: A Bradshaw for Pearson (28), G McNamara for O’Sullivan and J Kindlon for Keating (half-time), O Kelly for Fox (47), D O’Brien for Holland (58), C Kelly for Kindlon (60, BC).
Referee: Patrick Maguire (Longford)