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Jimmy Hyland on song as talented Kildare put Dublin to sword in inaugural U20 decider

Kildare 1-15 Dublin 0-10

Nathan Doran of Dublin in action against Brian McLoughlin of Kildare during the EirGrid Leinster GAA Football U20 Championship Final match between Kildare and Dublin at Bord na Móna O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Nathan Doran of Dublin in action against Brian McLoughlin of Kildare during the EirGrid Leinster GAA Football U20 Championship Final match between Kildare and Dublin at Bord na Móna O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

Rónán Mac Lochlainn

Kildare were crowned EirGrid Leinster U-20 football champions after they comfortably overcame a strangely lacklustre Dublin by eight points at O’Connor Park in Tullamore on Friday night.

It was Dublin that made the brighter start with Cormac Howley kicking a fine score within 30 seconds to help settle his side.

Kildare had the assistance of a healthy breeze at their backs during the first half and Jimmy Hyland judged it to perfection as he levelled matters in the fourth minute.

Neither side were playing anywhere close to the ability that they showed in respective semi-final wins over Meath and Offaly last weekend, with Kildare failing to get a positive dividend from towering full-forward Brian McLoughlin.

Dublin’s patience in possession was admirable, but they struggled to utilise the pace of James Madden, who was well marshalled in the initial stages by Jack Bambrick. 

The Dubs spurned a glorious chance to open up a four-point lead in the 26th minute as Doran and Madden created a goal chance for Tom Keane, but the Naomh Olaf player’s low shot was comfortably repelled by Aaron O’Neill.

The significance of that save was magnified in the final eight minutes of the half as Kildare assumed complete control.

After Tony Archbold had levelled matters in the 27th minute, they opened up a five-point interval lead as Hyland’s brace was augmented by points from Padraig Nash and McLoughlin.

Trailing 0-10 to 0-5 at the break, Dublin failed to make the required impression upon the restart despite points from Keane and Ross McGarry and with every passing minute, their opponents’ confidence increased.

The icing on the Kildare cake arrived in injury time as almost inevitably, Hyland was fouled inside the square and Woodgate’s superbly-taken penalty to the left of David O’Hanlon was a fitting conclusion to a totally dominant Lilies display.        

Scorers – Kildare: J Hyland 0-8 (6f); T Archbold 1-1 (1-0 pen); P Nash 0-3; B McLoughlin, P Woodgate, S O’Sullivan 0-1 each. Dublin: T Keane 0-4 (1f); S Bugler 0-3; C Howley, R McGarry, J Doran 0-1 each.

Kildare – A O’Neill; M Dempsey, M Barrett, DJ Earley; T Archbold, J Bambrick, J Gibbons; A Masterson, D Marnell; D Ryan, P Nash, R Ó Giolláin; P Woodgate, B McLoughlin, J Hyland. Subs:  M Betts Symonds for Bambrick (14-17, blood sub), S O’Sullivan for Nash (38), C Costigan for Marnell (49), S Doran for Woodgate (53), N Murphy for McLoughlin (60), J Barrett for Earley (64), Betts Symonds for Murphy (64, BC). 

Dublin – D O’Hanlon; N Nolan, N Doran, C Smith; K Kennedy, N Matthews, E O’Dea; D Ryan, S Bugler; T Keane, J Madden, R McGarry; D O’Brien, J Doran, C Howley. Subs: K Lynch Bissett for Howley (33), J Holland for O’Brien (43), S King for McGarry (52), E Fitzpatrick for Ryan (56), D Brennan for Doran (58). 

REF – A Nolan (Wicklow).

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