Sunday 18 March 2018

Boyle late show grabs glory for Kerry

All-Ireland U-21 HC 'B' Final: Kerry 1-21 Kildare 4-10

Padraig Boyle plundered an injury-time goal to snatch glory for Kerry in Thurles.

Padraig Boyle plundered an injury-time goal to snatch glory for Kerry in Thurles.

The Kingdom had trailed since the opening minutes, but kept the scoreboard ticking over to hang onto Kildare's coat-tails before Boyle struck in the the third minute of added time.

The key score came when a long ball was sent goalwards by centre-back Brian Murphy and Boyle made it his before turning and shooting to the net from close range. Sub Philip Lucid won possession from the puck-out and fired over to double Kerry's lead, and although Kildare managed to get the sliotar into the danger area one more time, the final whistle came shortly afterwards.

The first half featured quite an amount of ebb and flow, as Kildare bagged three opportunist goals – thanks in no small part to a bit too much ball-watching by the Kerry full-back line – before the Kingdom roared back into it with six points in as many minutes just before the break to tie up the scores.

In the second half, Ryan Casey claimed Kildare's fourth goal and they looked to have done enough to claim the title before Boyle's late intervention.

The first of those Kildare goals came courtesy of a penalty in the fifth minute, when Evan Dempsey was pulled down after completing a terrific high catch and goalkeeper Paddy McKenna trotted up the pitch to take it, duly blasting a low shot to the net. Niall Kenny got the other two goals in that first half, doing well from a rebound off the crossbar for one and then taking advantage of another great Dempsey catch and pass, via Mark Delaney, to claim another.

Kerry looked in trouble after 25 minutes, behind by 3-5 to 0-8 and looking decidedly leaky at the back.

But a gear change was observed in the closing minutes of the half as captain Brendan O'Leary fired over a couple of points, as did wing-forward Paul McGrath, while Boyle and Brendan Brosnan got one each in that period to leave the sides locked together at the break.

The second half was not as score-filled or exciting – until injury-time and Kerry's late, late show.

Scorers – Kerry: P Boyle 1-7 (4fs), B Brosnan 0-4 (1 '65', 2fs), P McGrath, D Collins 0-3, B O'Leary 0-2, PJ Connolly, P Lucid 0-1. Kildare: N Kenny 2-3, M Delaney 0-5 (2fs, 1 '65'), P McKenna 1-0 (pen), R Casey 1-0, E Dempsey 0-2.

Kerry – N Leen; TB McElligott, A Fealy, K Orpen; D Fitzell, B Murphy, T Casey; B Brosnan, B O'Leary; M O'Leary, D Collins, P McGrath; PJ Connolly, P Boyle, D Leahy. Subs: T Barrett for TB McElligott, K Carmody for PJ Connolly, S Weir for D Leahy, P Lucid for K Carmody.

Kildare – P McKenna; S O'Flynn, C Farrell, C Gordon; K Murphy, D Flaherty, K Connor; P Kennedy, J Byrne; N Kenny, F Conway, M Delaney; R Casey, G Keegan, E Dempsey. Sub: E Doddy for G Keegan.

Ref – F Horgan (Tipperary)

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