Kildare proved too strong for All-Ireland champions Dublin in the O’Byrne Cup semi-final at Newbridge on Sunday afternoon.
Kieran McGeeney’s side were the hungrier outfit throughout the game and were deserving winners. The Lilywhites will now face DCU in the final of the competition.
The home side made the better start and early points from Smyth and Sweeney had them leading 0-2 to 0-0 after just twelve minutes. However, the visitors drew level thanks to scores from Paddy Andrews and Tomas Quinn. Mikey Conway and Quinn then exchanged points to leave the teams tied at three points apiece. Kildare were then reduced to fourteen men as O’Flaherty saw red for a foul on Brogan. Smyth then scored too late points for Kildare just before the break. Quinn responded for the Dubs and the sides went in at the interval, with just a single point separating them(Kildare 0-5, Dublin 0-4).
McGrillen extended the home sides lead just after the restart. McManamon was then through on goal but blazed over the bar to leave it 0-6 to 0-5. The teams were level numbers wise soon after when Brogan was red carded for a stupid foul. A penalty for Kildare was converted by Ronan Sweeney and Kildare led 1-06 to 0-5 after 47 minutes. The Lilywhites really turned the screw and further points from Conway and Kavanagh extended their advantage to six points. Tomas Quinn and Bryan Cullen kept Dublin in the match with nice scores but with Conway to the fore Kildare finished the stronger and Dublin had no answer.
While it is still early in the season, Kildare look a force to be reckoned with and if they manage to secure the services of Seanie Johnston they may well be realistic league and championship contenders later in the year.