Tuesday 16 January 2018

lilies wilted by dub cubs

Improved performance sees Sky Blue minors win Leinster League beating Kildare in own back yard

Goals in either half from Conor Kavanagh on Dillon Keating helped Dublin record a deserved five-point success over Kildare in their Leinster Minor Football League decider in Hawkfield last Saturday afternoon.

The Dubs were full value for their win given the control they exerted for large parts with their opponents strangely subdued over the hour, especially in attack where they amassed just four scores from play in total.

Dublin's forwards were not exactly free-flowing by comparison but there was greater cohesion and fluidity in much of their play as they recovered from a slow start to click through the gears towards the end of the opening half.

The introduction of Kevin Callaghan in the 25th minute was hardly coincidental in Dublin's improved fortunes in attack with the St Brigid's player offering a greater aerial presence in addition to kicking three superb points from play in what was an intriguing and decisive cameo.

It was a marked improvement by the Dubs on last week's slightly fortuitous win over Meath in the semi-final although the visitors took the lead in the 5th minute following an excellent score by impressive Kildare centre-forward Ethan O'Donoghue.

Dublin were struggling to punch holes in the home defence initially but a strong incision by Kavanagh allowed Seán Caffrey to level matters with a composed strike two minutes later.

Wing-forward Tom Fox was highly influential in the early stages as Dublin dominated primary possession but their difficulties in attack ensured they failed to translate that control on the scoreboard.

However, they were to avail of a mistake by Jack Lawler in the 20th minute as they put daylight between the teams when the Kildare goalkeeper's sloppy pass was seized upon by Kavanagh, who made the finish from ten yards appear far more routine than it was.

Despite Ryan Bannon popping over a facile score for Kildare two minutes later, Callaghan's arrival signalled a more purposeful Dublin for the remainder of the half and a Keating free restored their three point lead with three minutes of the half remaining.

A minute later, Kavanagh, in his third year of minor inter-county football, kicked a stereotypically classy point soon after and the half finished with Dublin firmly in the ascendancy when Callaghan added a smart score to push Paddy Christie's outfit 1-4 to 0-2 clear by the break.

A James Healy goal in the 32nd minute offered Kildare some brief hope but Dublin replied through a smart Keating goal two minutes with the Ballymun player slotting home after a fine pass from Caffrey.

Callaghan kicked a brace of glorious points but a sloppy concession of a goal to Eoin O'Neill in the 38th minute ensured the Dubs were grateful to Evan Comerford (inset) as he denied Aaron Murphy's penalty seven minutes later, with the Dubs cruising home through late points by Keating and Caffrey.

Scorers - Dublin: D Keating 1-3 (0-3f), C Kavanagh 1-1, K Callaghan 0-3, S Caffrey 0-2, E Comerford ('45') 0-1 each. Kildare: J Healy, E O'Neill 1-0 each, B McLoughlin 0-2 (2f), E O'Donoghue, R Bannon, A Murphy (f), 0-1 each.

Dublin: E Comerford; D Byrne, J Holland, G McNamara; C Kavanagh, B Howard, O Kelly; D McIlgorm, A Elliott; T Fox, S Howard, D Keating; S Smith, C Pearson, S Caffrey. Subs: K Callaghan for Smith (25), T O'Sullivan for Holland, (44, Black Card), B Shovlin for Elliott (49), J Kindlon for Fox (55).

Kildare: J Lawler; S Healy, R Slattery, D Lawler; J Healy, D Courtney, K Flynn; K O'Callaghan, C Hartley; E O'Neill, E O'Donoghue, R Bannon; M Murray, M Kelly, A Murphy. Subs: C Kelly for Bannon (24), C Daly for Flynn (half-time), D O'Sullivan for J Healy (34), B McLoughlin for M Kelly (49), E Lawless for Murray (53)S Smyth for C Kelly (60).

Mentors - Dublin: Paddy Christie, Mickey Whelan, Brian O'Regan, James Glancy, Ian Robertson. Kildare: Brendan Hackett, Paul Burke, Tony McMullan, Declan Jacob, Tadhg Fennin.

Referee: Chris Dwyer (Offaly)

Wides: Dublin 6 (3+3) Kildare 10 (7+3)

Conditions: A calm, sunny afternoon in Newbridge.

Player of the Game: Evan Comerford (Dublin)

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