Kildare 3-16 Dublin 3-13
A clinical Kildare proved too strong for a wasteful Dublin as they secured a well-deserved 3-16 to 3-13 victory in their Electric Ireland Leinster MFC semi-final at Croke Park.
After falling behind to points by Ethan O'Donoghue and Jimmy Hyland, Dublin finally gained reward for their early dominance when Tom Fox blasted a superb goal beyond Declan Campbell in the fifth minute following fine approach play by Donal McIlgorm.
The Dubs continued to control the initial stages and they increased their lead as Cormac Howley timed his pass well, allowing Shane Howard to find the net in the 13th minute.
But a series of poor wides undermined Dublin’s position as they failed to make early dominance count on the scoreboard.
They were made to pay for their profligacy as Kildare levelled matters in the 25th minute through a sublime goal from full-forward Matthew Kelly.
Kildare were in the ascendancy at this stage as they entered the break with a 2-11 to 2-5 interval lead as Rory Feely converted a 30th minute penalty after Evan Comerford was harshly penalised by referee Patrick Maguire.
Dublin required a positive start to the second half if they were to launch an unlikely comeback but the opposite occurred as Kildare stretched their lead through a brace of Kelly points and a cracking score by
Dublin replied through points from Howard and Howley but Kildare looked far sharper in attack and they landed a decisive blow in the 42nd minute as Kelly fed Hyland for another well-executed finish with Paddy Small’s injury-time penalty arriving too late to deny the Lilies a thoroughly deserved victory.
KILDARE: D Campbell; R Slattery, M Joyce, D Lawlor; G Burke, S Ryan (0-1), J Healy; D Courtney, R Feely (1-1, 1-0 pen); E O'Donoghue (0-2), C Hartley (0-3), B McLoughlin; C Kelly (0-3, one free), M Kelly (1-2), J Hyland (1-3, two frees). Subs: K O'Callaghan for Feely (10-13 mins), S Healy for J Healy (41 mins), S Lawler (0-1) for McLoughlin (47 mins), O'Callaghan for Courtney (58 mins), R Bannon for Lawlor (60 mins), E O'Neill for Joyce (62 mins, bc).
DUBLIN: E Comerford; D Byrne, P O'Hanlon, J Holland (0-1); C Kavanagh, B Howard, T O'Sullivan; A Elliott, D McIlgorm; T Fox (1-0), S Howard (1-4), C Pearson (0-1); P Small (1-2, 1-0 pen), C Howley (0-2), D Keating (0-1, free). Subs: A Bradshaw for Pearson (28 mins), G McNamara for O'Sullivan, J Kindlon (0-2) for Keating (h-t), O Kelly for Fox (47 mins), D O'Brien for Holland (58 mins), C Kelly for Kindlon (60 mins, bc).
Referee: Patrick Maguire (Longford)