Young Lilies lift title as Dublin fail to sparkle
Kildare were crowned Eirgrid Leinster Under 20 Football Champions after they comfortably overcame a strangely lacklustre Dublin by eight points at O'Connor Park, Tullamore last night.
It was Dublin that made the brighter start with Cormac Howley kicking a fine score within thirty 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 4th 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 in the Kildare goal.
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 by 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 outfit.
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, Black Card).
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: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow)