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Friday 9 December 2016

Dubs roll on as Kildare brushed aside

Blues canter into final as Westmeath make history

28 June 2015; Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly shoots to score his side's fourth goal of the game. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Dublin v Kildare. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
28 June 2015; Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly shoots to score his side's fourth goal of the game. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Dublin v Kildare. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
28 June 2015; Dean Rock, Dublin, is fouled by Mark Donnellan, Kildare, resulting in a black card and penalty. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Dublin v Kildare. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
28 June 2015; Dean Rock, Dublin, is fouled by Mark Donnellan, Kildare, resulting in a black card and penalty. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Dublin v Kildare. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

DUBLIN'S seemingly unstoppable march to a tenth Leinster senior football title in 11 seasons gathered pace yesterday as they steamrolled Kildare by a record-equalling 19-point margin in Croke Park.

But the real drama from HQ came on the so-called undercard, as Westmeath shredded the history books in the most spectacular fashion imaginable.

They had never beaten Meath in SFC combat before yesterday, and that target looked a forlorn pipe-dream when trailing the Royals by ten points late in the first half.

But a spectacular comeback, led by Kieran Martin and John Heslin, propelled them to a shock 3-19 to 2-18 victory that was later likened to "a miracle" by winning boss Tom Cribbin.

Now, though, it will take an infinitely bigger miracle to stop the Dublin juggernaut. The Blues are 1/33 favourites to retain the Delaney Cup after their 5-18 to 0-14 blitz of Kildare.

Afterwards, Jim Gavin insisted he is not worried at the possibility that his charges won't be tested once before the All-Ireland series.

"We could have faced defeat today if we decided not to show up. It's a matter for ourselves to prepare the best that we can, that's all we can do," Gavin surmised.

Defender John Small could be a Leinster final doubt after departing with what appeared a shoulder injury.

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