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Tuesday 19 September 2017

McGarry's goal crucial as Dubs reach Leinster final

Dublin 1-16 Kildare 0-14

Dublin captain Donal Ryan celebrates with supporters following his side’s Leinster MFC semi-final victory last night. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin captain Donal Ryan celebrates with supporters following his side’s Leinster MFC semi-final victory last night. Photo: Sportsfile

Thrilling stuff in Newbridge last night. And the young Dubs reached deep into the well to prevail. Dublin 1-16; Kildare 0-14.

They now have a ticket to the Leinster MFC final on Sunday week where they'll play Louth.

Louth beat Wexford by a point at Innovate Wexford Park on Tuesday night to reach their first Leinster MFC decider in 46 years.

St Conleth's Park was buzzing for the arrival of the Dubs. It was a balmy evening. The stand was packed. And the terraces were very well populated. A mighty roar went up after the Anthem.

And on the turf of the Curragh, the pace was electric from the time the stalls went up.

And they produced a fabulous tussle.

Both teams were well primed for the intensity. Both had recovered from seven points down in matches during the campaign - Kildare against Laois and Dublin against Meath.

John Hickey was the referee. He let the action flow. He was superb. His favourite footballer is Jack O'Shea. Players were leaping like a Leixlip salmon.

Kildare attacked the scoreboard end in the first half. They had the brisker start. The Lilywhite keeper, Aaron O'Neill, looked most assured under the high ball. And he showed immaculate distribution.

Kildare led by three points to no reply after 14 minutes. On target were Findlay Nairn, Shane O'Sullivan and James Burke.

Ross McGarry's free produced Dublin's first offering of the contest on 15 minutes. Full-back, Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne and Donal Ryan at midfield was flourishing for the Dubs, and they grew taller as the game wore on.

And at half-time, it was Dublin that led by 1-7 to 0-7. The Dubs trailed by 0-5 to 0-2 on 21 minutes but they then hit four points on the bounce to take the lead for the first time - the points coming from Seán Hawkshaw, Daniel Brennan (2) and David Lacey.

James Madden then struck the host's bar, and on 28 minutes came the Dublin goal as the influential James Doran's pass opened the door for McGarry. Lacey added a super points, and the Blues were on the up - 1-7 to 0-5.

But the hosts scored the last two points of the half from O'Sullivan and a brilliant Darragh Ryan effort.

Jack Barrett kicked three frees in succession to bring Kildare level within four minutes of the restart. And the teams were level once after that as the excitement continued to rise.

Dublin defended well and they took some excellent points on the break to move ahead once more, with Ryan, James Doran, Hawkshaw, Ciarán Archer and Lacey getting telling scores.

Ryan got his two points from clever fisted finishes.

And it was the Blues that hit the last three points as they cemented a most worthy victory.

Scorers - Dublin: R McGarry 1-2 (0-2f), D Lacey 0-5 (0-1f), S Hawkshaw 0-3, D Ryan, D Brennan 0-2 each, J Doran, C Archer 0-1 each. Kildare: D Kirwan 0-4, J Barrett 0-3 (3f), S O'Sullivan 0-2, D Ryan, J Burke, B McDonnell, F Nairn, J Cully 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: D O'Hanlon; D Maher, P O Cofaigh Byrne, L Flatman; K Kennedy, N Matthews, E O'Dea; M Tracey, D Ryan; D Brennan, J Doran, J Madden; R McGarry, S Hawshaw, D Lacey. Subs: A Byrne for Brennan (42); C Archer for McGarry (51); K Lynch for Ryan, Black, 54); D Conlon for Madden (58); A Lynch for Maher (62)

KILDARE: A O'Neill; D Reilly, M Barrett, DJ Earley; D Ryan, N O'Connor, C Murphy; C McQuillan, D Kelly; B McDonnell, J Burke, F Nairn; J Barrett, S O'Sullivan, D Kirwan. Subs: A Cronin for Murphy (35); J Cully for O'Sullivan (42); D Foley for Burke (44); E McGovern for O'Connor (46); N O'Sullivan for Nairn (50); G Cunningham for J Barrett (54).

REF: J Hickey (Carlow)

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