Canavan leads the charge as Tyrone power to All-Ireland victory

U-20s: Kildare respond strongly in blistering opening sequence, but end up chasing the game

Tyrone 1-20 Kildare 1-14

Ruairí Canavan scored 1-7 as Tyrone beat Kildare at Carrick-on-Shannon to lift their first All-Ireland title at this grade since they won at under-21 level in 2015.

Canavan struck the game’s opening goal after less than 20 seconds and really came to the fore in the final quarter as he exploited the gaps left by Kildare as they chased the game.

In a blistering opening period, Kildare responded to Canavan's goal with a major of their own within less than a minute when a well-worked move ended with Eoin Bagnall fisting across the goal to leave Daniel Lynam with a simple tap in.


Ciarán Bogue and Dan Muldoon clipped over nice scores for the Ulster side but Kildare enjoyed their best spell of the game midway through the half.

Niall O’Regan, Dean O’Donoghue and Bagnall scored consecutive points to put them ahead for the only time in the game at 1-4 to 1-3.

What followed was the key period of the game. Tyrone rattled off five points in a row to move four points clear as Kildare found their attacking wing-backs James Donaghy and Niall Devlin particularly causing problems.

With the half-time score at 1-9 to 1-5, Kildare needed to eat into that lead early in the second half, but instead Canavan scored the first point after the restart.


Tyrone were intelligent in the way that they managed the game, defending well in numbers but always carrying a big threat on the counterattack.

They had a wide array of scorers too. Devlin scored his third of the game and then midfielder Ruarí McHugh landed a huge booming effort from the 45.

Kildare’s hectic schedule of a fifth championship game in a little over four weeks began to tell in the final quarter and they had a number of players go down with cramp. One of those was the man charged with marking Canavan, Harry O’Neill, and once he departed the mercurial Tyrone forward enjoyed the spaces left.

While there were just six scores in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, there were 14 in the last 10 minutes plus five minutes added on.

Canavan scored five of those and was named man of the match at the final whistle, but he was far from on his own. Devlin, the captain, was superb from the wing-back position while Michael McGleenan was a huge presence around the middle third.

Ultimately, it was Tyrone’s shooting efficiency that was the difference and they ended the game with 11 different scorers.

TYRONE: S McMenamin; M Rafferty, B Conway, E Corry, J Donaghy 0-1, S Donaghy, N Devlin 0-3; R McHugh 0-1, C Daly 0-2; C Cush 0-1, C Bogue 0-1, R Canavan 1-7(3fs), S O'Donnell, M McGleenan 0-1, D Muldoon 0-1.
Subs: G Potter 0-1 for Muldoon, 48; F Taggert for O'Donnell, 53; S Daly for Bogue, 60; L Donnelly 0-1 for Cush, 60.

KILDARE: C Barker; H O'Neill, D O'Donoghue 0-1, M Maguire, T Gill 0-1, J McGrath, R Burke; B Gibbons, L Killian 0-3; N O'Regan 0-2, D Lynam 1-0, S Farrell, A Browne, A Fanning 0-1, E Bagnall 0-5 (4fs).
Subs: D Swords 0-1 for Lynam, 37; J McKevitt for Gibbons, 39; J Dalton for Browne, 42; A Boyle for O'Neill, 53; A Conneely for O'Regan, 57.

Referee: Liam Devenney (Mayo).