Kildare take Leinster MFC for fourth time in seven seasons
Aaron Browne scores 1-7 from play as his side edge an extra-time thriller with Dublin
Kildare celebrate their Leinster MFC win over Dublin in Navan. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/Inpho
Kildare 2-21 Dublin 1-19 (AET)
It took almost 100 minutes of action to get the job done but Kildare eventually secured the Leinster minor football title, their ninth, on a remarkable afternoon in Navan.
Level seven times in a game that had more angles than the most complex of maths lessons, the young Lilies proved to have too much power and quality for Dublin in extra-time and ran out five-point winners.
Extra-time goals from Aaron Browne and Eoin Bagnall, each of whom scored 1-7 - with all of Browne’s tally coming from open play - ultimately sealed the win and a fourth provincial title at the grade for Kildare in seven seasons.
Aside from the extra-time, the game was stretched out in duration following a worrying injury sustained by Dublin centre-back Senan Forker late in the first-half of normal time.
He suffered what appeared to be a concussion after a heavy collision involving two Kildare players and was removed from the pitch on a stretcher following extensive medical treatment.
Dublin also lost full-back Ben Millist to an injury after 20 minutes which meant they were robbed of the central spine of their defence.
Despite those losses they led by 0-8 to 0-7 at half-time and increased their lead to five points with 21 minutes remaining following a strong third quarter display.
Unfortunately for Dublin, chasing a first title since 2017, it was mostly downhill from there as Kildare regrouped with five points in a row before moving one clear late on.
Browne scored Kildare’s last three points in normal time and it took a 64th minute Murray point for Dublin to force extra-time at 1-11 to 0-14.
Kildare were terrific in the extra 20 minutes or so with 61st and 73rd minute goals from Bagnall and Browne while their goalkeeper Cian Burke tipped over a penalty from Dublin’s Ryan O’Dwyer.
Kildare: C Burke; T Gill, C Boran, M Maguire; PJ Cullen, O O’Rourke, J Quinn; S Flynn (0-3), K Eustace (0-1); A Browne (1-7), C O’Brien, E Bagnall (1-7, six frees); O Milmoe, A Conneely, A Boyle. Subs: D Woulfe for Milmoe (36 min), M Delahunty (0-1) for O’Brien (43), R Comeau for O’Rourke (50), E Meehan (0-2) for Woulfe (57), M Whelan for Boyle (64). M Spillane for Connelly (69), J Kavanagh for Maguire (70, black card), L Gorman for Eustace (74).
Dublin: H O’Sullivan; C Archer, B Millist, C Tyrrell; K Conroy, S Forker, J Lundy; D O’Dowd, L Murphy-Guinane; R O’Dwyer (0-4, two frees, penalty), L Swan (1-1), F Murray (0-10, eighte frees, one 45); S Kinsella, R Keogh (0-1), A Rogers (0-1). Subs: A Watson for Millist (20 min), B Harding for Forker (36), R Bolger for Kinsella (36), D Fagan for O’Dwyer (48), T Brennan for Keogh (48), H Colclough for Lundy (52). M Nealon for Archer (E-T), L Curran (0-2) for Rogers (E-T), O’Dwyer for Brennan (70), Keogh for Murphy-Guinane (E-T).
Referee: D Hickey (Carlow).