HomeGAAKildare Wins 2023 Leinster U20 Football Title

Kildare Wins 2023 Leinster U20 Football Title

Kildare Wins 2023 Leinster U20 Football Title

Kildare secured their second consecutive EirGrid Leinster U20 football title by defeating Dublin in a dramatic extra-time encounter. The Lilywhites needed 80 minutes this time around, having won the title in 60 minutes last year. Kildare’s victory marked their first successful title defence since the 1960s.

Sinkey Named Man of the Match

Ryan Sinkey was the star performer for Kildare, striking four points and earning the Man of the Match award. His strong display helped Brian Flanagan’s side through to the All-Ireland semi-final clash on May 6, where they will face either Derry or Down who meet in the Ulster final.

Kildare Aims for All-Ireland Title

After finishing as All-Ireland runners-up last year, Kildare will be looking to go one step further this time. The team demonstrated courage and character in their victory against Dublin and showed that they have what it takes to compete at the highest level.

Dublin’s Heartbreak

Dublin suffered back to back heartbreak as they were defeated by Kildare in the final for the second year in a row. Despite changing almost a third of their team from the side that beat Meath a week earlier, Dublin could not secure their first title since 2020.

Tight and Tense Encounter

The match was tight and tense throughout, with Kildare trailing or level with Dublin for much of regular time. Colm Dalton’s brilliant score for Kildare in the 62nd minute tied the game up at 0-11 apiece and forced extra-time.

Kildare Dominates Extra Time

Kildare pulled decisively clear in extra-time, outscoring Dublin by 0-5 to 0-2 in the additional 20 minutes. Adam Fanning, Callum Bolton, Shane Farrell, goalkeeper Cormac Barker, and Oisin O’Sullivan all contributed crucial scores for Kildare.

Sinkey Provides Early Inspiration

Sinkey provided the early inspiration for Kildare, scoring three terrific points that tied the scores up at 0-4 apiece after 20 minutes. However, Dublin responded with three points of their own to take a narrow 0-7 to 0-5 lead at half-time.

Kildare’s Terrific Response

Kildare produced a terrific response in the third quarter, with four points between the 42nd and 48th minutes from Bolton, Sinkey, O’Sullivan, and Fanning nudging them ahead for the first time, 0-10 to 0-9. The game remained anyone’s for the closing minutes, with Dalton’s equaliser sending the match to extra-time.

Dublin’s Changed Line-Up

Dublin made several changes to their team from the side that beat Meath by four points a week earlier. Talisman forward Luke Breathnach and defender Eoghan O’Connor Flanagan were both carried off with injuries against Meath and missed out, while Joe Quigley, Finn Bruton, Michael McDonald, and Seamus Smith all lined out.

Closing Thoughts

Kildare’s victory against Dublin was a testament to their resilience and determination. The team will now be looking ahead to the All-Ireland semi-final clash with confidence, knowing that they have what it takes to compete at the highest level.

Scorers for Kildare: Ryan Sinkey 0-4, Colm Dalton 0-3, Shane Farrell 0-2 (0-2f), Callum Bolton 0-2, Adam Fanning 0-2, Oisin O’Sullivan 0-2, Cormac Barker 0-1 (0-1f).

Scorers for Dublin: Joe Quigley 0-5 (0-3f), Ross Keogh 0-4 (0-3f), Luke Ward 0-1, Greg McEneaney 0-1, Seamus Smith 0-1, Bill Costello 0-1.

Kildare: C Barker; R Burke, H O’Neill, T Von Engelbrechten; J Harris, J McGrath, J McKevitt; F Cooke, S Farrell; R Sinkey, C Bolton, C Dalton; E Cully, O O’Sullivan, A Fanning.

Subs: Sean Hanafin for Cully 41, Darragh Swords for Cooke 54. Ethan Mountaine for Von Engelbrechten e/t, Niall Dolan for Sinkey 64, Fionn O Giollain for Burke 70+1, Daire Guerin for McGrath 75.

Dublin: A Smyth; F Bruton, T Clancy, E Nugent; A Gavin, G McEneaney, D O’Leary; E Dunne, M McDonald; C Dolan, R Keogh, S Smith; L Ward, J Quigley, D Dempsey.

Subs: Bill Costello for Dempsey h/t, James Cotter for Smith 45, Tom Brennan for McDonald 50, Dara McGrath for O’Leary 62. Charlie McMorrow for Cotter e/t, McDonald for Costello 66, Caelum Moriarty for Quigley 70+1, Clyde Burke for Dolan 77.

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