Leinster U21 FC: Goals win it for Dubs

April 02, 2015

Niall Scully is brought down by Kildare's Ryan Houlihan for the Dublin penalty during the Leinster U21 FCfinal at Pairc Tailteann. TO VIEW A SELECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS GAME CLICK HERE

Dublin ......... 3-10
Kildare ........ 1-12

A final quarter surge saw Dublin prevail over Kildare in an exciting Leinster Under 21 FC final at a wet Pairc Tailteann, Navan on Thursday night.

Cormac Costello's second goal of the night, in the 46th minute finally turned the tide in favour of Dessie Farrell's charges.

Six differerent players contributed to Dublin's tally with just half that number getting off the mark for Kildare.

Their number 13 Neil Flynn conjured up the most impressive individual performance of the night contributing 12 points (from play, frees and two 45s).

Conor McHugh finished with five points for Dublin, including one from a 59th minute penalty, which he appeared to opt to point to leave a goal between the sides. He went on to post the insurance score.

This is Dublin's eighth provincial title at this grade since 2000. It is their 12th in all and moves them two ahead of Kildare on the roll of honour.

Kildare manager Brian Murphy - who scored the goal that sealed Leinster SFC final win over Meath in 1998 - oversaw a spirited showing by his side that just came up short.

Dublin were first to show but passed up a scoring chance in the opening minute when Niall Scully sent a 13-metre free from a favourable position wide.

After Niall Kelly gave Kildare an early lead and David Fitzpatrick picked up a yellow card, Lillies' 'keeper Colin Heeney saved Colm Basquel's goal attempt with his feet. Neil Flynn opened his account with a 12th minute free.

Darren Maguire and David Hyland provided a solid spine to the Kildare defence in the early stages. Points in quick succession from Shane Carthy and Cormac Costello ensured the scores were tied, 0-2 each, at the end of the opening quarter.

A pointed Cormac Costello free put Dublin in front for the first time, in the 17th minute. It was quickly countered by a further brace of Kildare points from Neil Flynn (one free) to leave it 0-4 to 0-3 after 21 minutes.

Then Dublin struck for two goals in quick succession at the town end. Colm Basquel bagged the first in the 22nd minute. Seconds later with assistance from Conor McHugh, Cormac Costello netted and the nearby board read 2-3 to 0-4.

When McHugh pointed in the 29th minute, six points separated the side - 2-5 to 0-5. Brian Murphy's men improved matters in stoppage time with Mark Sherry firing home from close range having fielded Paul Mescal's delivery.

The sides shared 14 scores in the opening half with the All-Ireland champions leading by 2-5 to 1-6 at the break. Neil Flynn registered all bar one point of Kildare's first-half tally while five different Dublin players got off the mark in the opening 30 minutes.

In difficult conditions, Dublin hit nine first-half wides while Kildare were off target just twice. The third quarter belonged to Kildare with four points (three frees) on the bounce from Flynn. His effort from play in the sequence might have been a goal but was tipped over his own bar by Dublin 'keeper Lorcan Molloy.

Costello's second goal in the 46th minute - after Basquel's point attempt rebounded off a post earned Dublin a lead they maintained to the end to secure an All-Ireland semi-final meeting against Cork or Tipperary on Saturday, April 18.

Dublin - : Lorcan Molloy; Emile Mullan, David Byrne, Ross McGowan; Eric Lowndes (0-1), Conor Mullally, Eoin Murchan; Stephen Cunningham, Shane Carthy (0-1); Gavin Burke, Andy Foley (0-1), Niall Scully; Cormac Costello (2-2, 0-1f), Conor McHugh (0-5, 0-1 pen), Colm Basquel (1-0). Subs - Eoin Fletcher for Mullan (30), Robert Gaughan for Burke (34), Aaron Byrne for Basquel (52).

Kildare - Colin Heeney; Brian Byrne, Darren Maguire, Paul Mescal; Ryan Houlihan, David Hyland, David Duke; Ryan Moore, Pascal Connell; Chris Fenner, David Fitzpatrick, Niall Kelly (0-1); Neil Flynn (0-11, 6fs, 2 45s), Mark Sherry (1-0), Chris Healy. Subs - Liam Healy for Byrne (27), Cian McMonagle for Moore (38), Declan Flaherty for Healy (40), Liam Power for Connell (50), Tom Gibbons for Kelly (57), John Costello for Houlihan (bc 60).

Referee - Niall Ward (Westmeath).

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