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Electric Ireland Leinster MFC Final: Dublin defeat Kildare

Dublin captain Cillian Emmett lifts the Murray Cup. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Dublin captain Cillian Emmett lifts the Murray Cup. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Electric Ireland Leinster MFC Final

Dublin 0-19 Kildare 2-8

By Ger McNally at Laois Hire O'Moore Park

A scoring burst of six points in a row late in the first half proved decisive as Dublin beat Kildare for the second consecutive year in the Leinster Minor Football Final in Portlaoise.

The opening 20 minutes had been evenly matched, despite Kildare playing with a strong wind at their backs, and the scores were tied at 0-3 apiece.

Dublin exploded into life when Noah Byrne sparked their scoring run in the 24th minute. The next four points all came from Lenny Cahill as Dublin piled on the pressure. By the time Sean Keogh kicked their sixth successive point to make it 0-9 to 0-3, Kildare were willing the referee to blow the whistle but their lot could have been even worse were it not for an excellent save by Cathal Moore to keep out a Harry Curley shot.

Kildare made three changes at half time and started with more urgency and their overall play deserved more than just the one point they scored in the first eight minutes after the restart.

It looked like Dublin had weathered that storm and were beginning to pull away when they scored the next three points to move 0-12 to 0-4 ahead.

However, Kildare got themselves right back in the game in the 41st minute when good play up the left flank involving Colm Moran and Evan Donnelly ended with the ball moved inside to Tadhg Donlon and he drilled his shot past Cillian Murray.

Joey Cunningham tagged on a free for Kildare before Dublin replied through Byrne and Cahill.

A key moment in the game arrived in the 50th minute when Cian Keaveny released Jack McCabe and his powerful shot beat Murray, but not midfielder Alex Carolan who got back into a great position to clear off the line. Had McCabe’s effort hit the net and the cut the lead to two points who knows how the game could have ended but instead, Dublin scored three of the next four points to go seven ahead.

Evan Boyle hit a second goal for Kildare in the 57th minute to briefly give them hope of a remarkable comeback but Dublin saw the game out well and fittingly it was man of the match Cahill, with his seventh point of the game, who scored the final point of the game.

Scorers for Dublin: L Cahill 0-7 (4fs), N Byrne 0-3, S Mullarkey 0-2, L O’Boyle 0–1’45, S Keogh 0-1, J Young 0-1, R Mitchell 0-1, S Ryan 0-1, A Carolan 0-1, H Curley 0-1.

Scorers for Kildare: T Donlan 1-1, E Boyle 1-0, C Moore 0-2fs, E Donnelly 0-2, J Cunningham 0-2 (1f), H Redmond 0-1.

Dublin: Cillian Murray; Sean Keogh, Cillian Emmett, Jack O’Sullivan; Joshua Young, Eoghan Costello, Ryan Mitchell; Senan Ryan, Alex Carolan; Patrick Coleman, Luke O’Boyle, Noah Byrne; Paddy Curry, Harry Curley, Lenny Cahill.

Subs: Shane Mullarkey for Curry, 43; Ciaran O’Connor for Young, 50; Andrew O’Reilly for Coleman, 51; Colin McAweeney for O’Boyle, 60+1.

Kildare: Cathal Moore; Liam Kelly, Rob Murray, Ruaidhri Lawlor; Seanan Murphy, James Donnelly, Michael Chambers; Evan Boyle, Donnchadh Kinch; Harry Redmond, Joey Cunningham, Tadhg Doran; Colm Moran; Darragh Mullahy, Evan Donnelly.

Subs: Cian Keaveny for Mullahy, h/t; Liam O’Connor for Kinch, h/t; Paul O’Dea for Murray, h/t; Jack McCabe for Murphy, 40; Ronan Kelly for Donnelly, 56.

Referee: Andrew Smith (Meath).