Dublin 2-10 Kildare 0-8
A powerful and pacey Dublin side came from behind at half-time to beat Kildare in Wednesday evening’s Leinster minor football final in Portlaoise.
It had looked like Kildare might follow in the footsteps of their Under-20 team and beat Dublin in a Leinster final at the same venue when they led 0-5 to 0-4 at the interval, despite having played into a strong wind. But it was a completely different game in the second half.
Dave Reynolds introduced Charlie McMorrow and Clyde Burke at the change of ends and the latter in particular was outstanding and was unlucky on more the one occasion not to add a goal to his two points.
After Joey Cunningham scored the opening point of the game, Dublin were the quicker to get to grips with the game and moved into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.
However, Kildare wrestled control back in the final 10 minutes before half-time, outscoring Dublin by 0-4 to 0-1 with all of their points coming from Killian Browne, including one excellent effort into the elements.
From the very first play of the second half, Dublin looked a different side and they were given a major boost when speedy corner back Ryan Mitchell got in for a goal in the 34th minute.
Dublin had opportunities to really kill the game off before the midway point of the second half but they couldn’t quite shake Kildare off, even though Burke and Reynolds-Hand added good points.
With four points separating the teams Kildare had half-hearted appeals for a penalty waved away when Eoin Cully collided with Dublin goalkeeper David Leonard.
That seemed to sharpen Dublin up even further and they saw the game out with a quick burst of 1-2, their goal coming from Luke O’Boyle in the 58th minute.
It’s some revenge for Dublin after losing to Kildare in the Under-20 decider, and the counties will meet in the third chapter of the trilogy when the senior teams meet in the Leinster final on Saturday week.
DUBLIN: D Leonard; E Brady, D McCarthy, R Mitchell (1-0); J Brady, D Lucey, T Deering; D Clark, N Fitzgerald; P Reynolds-Hand (0-3, two frees), J McCarville, L O'Boyle (1-1); J Quigley (0-3, two frees)), C Donovan, D Mulqueen.
Subs: C Burke (0-2) for McCarville, C McMorrow (0-1) for Fitzgerald (both h-t), J Smith for J Brady (48 mins), C Ó Riáin for Quigley (60 mins), S Mullarkey for Mulqueen (62 mins).
KILDARE: F Quinn; N Cramer, E Lawlor, B Ryan; J McGuirk, J Harris, J Cunningham (0-1); R Sinkey, R Rainey; E Cully, B Loakman, C O'Reilly; TJ Nolan, K Browne (0-7, five frees, one 45), T Kelly.
Subs: C Geraghty for Loakman (42 mins); C Kelly for O’Reilly (46 mins), DJ Percival for Nolan (52 mins), E O’Briain for Cunningham (58mins), J Hanamy for Cully (60 mins).
Referee: P Coyle (Meath)