DUBLIN 2-23 KILDARE 1-17
This Dublin team keeps on rewriting history when securing the county’s seventh Leinster SFC title in-a-row for the first time with Sunday’s provincial decider victory over Kildare at Croke Park.
The crowd of 66,734 were treated to an intense battle that started at break-neck pace.
The early moments contained plenty of decisive moments as the Dubs stole an early march on their way to victory.
Daniel Flynn had pointed for the Lilywhites before Tommy Moolick missed a gilt-edged goal opportunity and his side quickly paid the price.
Points from Paul Mannion, Ciarán Kilkenny, off his left, and the outstanding Con O’Callaghan had Dublin 0-3 to 0-1 in front before they struck for two goals in quick succession.
A great handpass from Kilkenny found Dean Rock strolling through the heart of the Kildare defence and his finish was ruthless.
A minute later James McCarthy fired to the net, after dove-taling with Con, before an O’Callaghan point, following a brilliantly time should by James McCarthy on Daniel Flynn at the other end, had Jim Gavin’s men 2-4 to 0-1 clear by the 17th minute.
Dean Rock was black-carded in the 24th minute but his replacement Bernard Brogan enjoyed a superb afternoon when scoring five points from play.
By the break Kildare had steadied themselves and had cut the deficit to 2-8 to 0-10.
The Dubs restarted well and by the 41st minute were 2-11 to 0-11 clear following points from an O’Callaghan free, for a foul on Philly McMahon, Paddy Andrews, following great defence by Jack McCaffrey, and Bernard Brogan, again with McCaffrey to the fore.
Kildare though were still going strong but spurned another great goal opportunity when marauding forward Daniel Flynn was denied by Stephen Cluxton.
Dublin kept Kildare at arm’s length to the finish and could have had a third goal but ref Anthony Nolan whistled back for a free as Paul Mannion was clipping the ball to the net.
Victory completed the treble of provincial football championships for Dublin at senior, under-21 and minor level while for captain Stephen Cluxton he joined Kerry’s Marc and Tomás O Sé as the most ‘capped’ players at senior football intercounty championship level with his 88th appearance.
SCORERS - Dublin: C O’Callaghan 0-12 (0-6f), B Brogan 0-5, D Rock, J McCarthy 1-0 each, C Kilkenny 0-2, P Mannion, P Andrews, S Carthy, B Howard 0-1 each. Kildare: P Brophy 1-3 (0-1f), K Feely 0-5 (0-4f), D Flynn, C McNally 0-2 each, K Cribbin, J Byrne, D Slattery, N Kelly, F Dowling 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: S Cluxton; P McMahon, C O’Sullivan, M Fitzsimons; E Lowndes, J Small, J McCaffrey; J McCarthy, B Fenton; N Scully, C Kilkenny, C O’Callaghan; P Andrews, P Mannion, D Rock. Subs: B Brogan for Rock (24, black card), S Carthy for Scully (47), D Daly for McMahon (49), K McManamon for Andrews (52), D Byrne for O’Sullivan (59), B Howard for Fenton (67).
KILDARE: M Donnellan; M O’Grady, D Hyland, O Lyons; J Byrne, E Doyle, K Cribbin; K Feely, T Moolick; D Slattery, N Kelly, F Conway; C McNally, D Flynn, P Brophy. Subs: P Cribbin for Conway (44), F Dowling for Moolick (49), P Kelly for Doyle (52), B McCormack for McNally (57), E Bolton for Byrne (63), E Callaghan for Feely (BC 64).
REF: A Nolan (Wicklow).