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U21 footballers make history when defeating Kildare in Leinster final

U21 footballers make history when defeating Kildare in Leinster final

Sat, 2nd April 2016


(After extra-time)

Dublin created history in Páirc Tailteann in Navan on Saturday when they recovered from a poor start, seven points in arrears in the first half, to capture the EirGrid Leinster U21FC for the third year in-a-row for the first time ever.

Entering the closing stages of the first half Dessie Farrell's men trailed 0-9 to 0-2 but refused to buckle and a Con O'Callaghan goal in the 27th minute saw the Dubs close the gap to just two points, 0-10 to 1-5, by the half-time interval in normal time.

Dublin v Kildare  - EirGrid Leinster GAA Football U21 Championship Final

Cuala man Con O'Callaghan was the scorer-in-chief for the Dubs with 1-7 (0-5f) as they 'came back from the grave' to secure an extra-time victory and set up an All-Ireland U21FC semi-final against Mayo on Saturday, April 16.

Cillian O'Shea's goal in the extra period was vital too as Dublin, beaten by Kildare three years ago in the minor championship, secured a famous win and a last-four berth.

The much fancied Lilywhites were much the better side in the opening half and quickly opened up a three-point lead.

Neil Flynn kicked their opener from a free before two from Ben McCormack, one off either foot.

Dublin v Kildare  - EirGrid Leinster GAA Football U21 Championship Final

McCormack added a third before midfielder Paschal Connell sent over from long rant to open up a 0-5 to 0-1 advantage.

Colm Basquel and O'Callaghan kicked Dublin's only two scores in the first 27 minutes as Kildare stormed into a 0-9 to 0-2 lead.

Then came O'Callaghan's goal and points from O'Callaghan, Chris Sallier and Glenn O'Reilly significantly before the break.

Kildare's lead was entirely wiped out early in the second-half when O'Callaghan took his tally to 1-3 for the afternoon with a 32nd minute point.

Dublin took the lead for the first time in the 49th minute through O'Reilly but a tense and exciting contest was unsurprisingly level again after 54 minutes when Flynn converted a Kildare '45', 1-11 to 0-14.

Both sides had opportunities to win it in the dying stages with Lorcan Molloy and Paddy Small going close for Dublin while sub Mark Sherry sliced a late goal chance just wide for Kildare.

The sides were level again early in extra-time but Cillian O'Shea's 69th minute goal, after good work by O'Callaghan in the build-up, sealed the deal for the Dubs.

SCORERS - Dublin: C O'Callaghan 1-7 (0-4f), C O'Shea 1-0, G O'Reilly 0-2, C Sallier, A Foley, B Howard, C Basquel, M Cahilan 0-1 each. Kildare: N Flynn 0-10 (0-5f, 0-1 ‘45’), B McCormack 0-5, C Healy, P Connell 0-1 each

DUBLIN: L Molloy; E Smith, S McMahon, D Monaghan; C O'Shea, B Howard, M Cahilan; A Foley, D McIlghorm; K Deeley, C Basquel, G O'Reilly; C Sallier, C O'Callaghan, D Spillane. Subs: S Clayton for O'Shea inj (4), A Elliott for McIlghorm (14), K O'Doherty for Foley blood (25-29), E Murchan for Monaghan (ht), P Small for Spillane (ht), M Deegan for Elliott (46), C O'Shea for Sallier (start of extra-time), K Doherty for O'Reilly (68), D Spillane for Murchan (75), T O'Sullivan for Smith (79).

KILDARE: D Campbell; E Bateman, D Maguire, P Mescal; R Houlihan, B Byrne, S Ryan; L Flynn, P Connell; C Hartley, C Cavanagh, C McMonagle; B McCormack, C Healy, N Flynn. Subs: M Hyland for Byrne (7), R Feely for Hartley (38), M Sherry for McMonagle (42), C Scanlon for Healy (53), B Kelly for Scanlon (start of extra-time), C Scanlon for McCormack (68), D Malone for Maguire (75), C Healy for Feely (79).

REF: J Hickey (Carlow).

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