Kildare defeat Dublin to reach first Leinster MFC final since 2009

Lilywhites’ aerial prowess helps them dominate semi-final


KILDARE 3-13 DUBLIN 2-6: Kildare produced an exceptional performance when accounting for 14-man Dublin by ten points in their Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship semi-final at Parnell Park on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors started on the front foot and never relinquished their control of affairs as the reigning provincial and All-Ireland holders struggled throughout against the aerial prowess of Kildare.

A point inside forty seconds by the excellent Neil Flynn set Kildare on their way and two further scores by Flynn ensured the Lilywhites a three point lead by the 11th minute.

However, from limited possession, the hosts grew level a minute later as an excellent pass by Conor Mullins enabled Cillian Sheanon to fire home from close range.

Kildare’s three point advantage was restored at the end of the first quarter as Cian McMonagle availed of lax Dublin defending to fire a clinical finish beyond Lorcan Molloy from eight yards.

Despite the lively Con O’Callaghan and David McGrath replying for Dublin, Kildare confirmed a deserved 1-8 to 1-3 interval lead through three points from Wayne Fitzpatrick.

Their dominance continued upon the restart and the contest was effectively settled in the 41st minute as Flynn confidently despatched a penalty after Chris Healy was impeded inside the square.

With Sheanon dismissed four minutes later, Dublin’s woes were exacerbated and a McMonagle goal in the 47th minute left thirteen points between the sides.

Dublin battled on but Kildare confirmed their first final appearance since 2009. They will meet Westmeath, who defeated Meath 0-11 to 1-6 in the other semi-final.

KILDARE: S Dempsey; C McConnell, N Fleming, D Hartley; J Flynn (0-2, 0-1 free, 0-1 45), P Mescal, R Houlihan; P Connell, L Flynn; N Flynn (1-5, 1-0 pen, 0-2 free), M Sherry, T Cribbin; W Fitzpatrick (0-4, 0-3 frees), C McMonagle (2-1), C Healy (0-1). Subs: J Connolly for Fleming (9 mins), B McCormack for Cribbin (42 mins), C Davin for Sherry (54 mins), M Kelly for McMonagle (58 mins), A McConville for N Flynn (62 mins).
DUBLIN: L Molloy; M Cahalan, J Mullins, E Murchan; A Byrne, T Hanafin, C Kavanagh; S Molony, A Foley; G Gallagher, C Sheanon (1-0), C Mullins (0-1); D McGrath (0-2, frees), C Basquel (1-1), C O’Callaghan (0-1). Subs: S Clayton for Cahalan (9 mins), J Madden for Byrne (19 mins), M Deegan (0-1, free) for D McGrath (45 mins), S McGrath for Gallagher (47 mins), C Smith for Foley (58 mins).
Referee: G Whelan (Wicklow).