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Dublin turn on style to claim the Leinster Minor Football Championship title

Dublin 2-10 Kildare 0-8

Dublin players celebrate with the cup after their Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship final win over Kildare at MW Hire O'Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

A powerful and pacy Dublin side turned the Leinster Minor Football final on its head in the second half in Portlaoise to eventually run out very deserving winners.

It had looked that the Kildare minors might follow in the footsteps of their Under 20 team and beat Dublin in a Leinster final at the same venue when they led 0-5 to 0-4 at half time despite having played into a strong wind but it was a completely different game in the second half.

Dave Reynolds introduced Charlie McMorrow and Clyde Burke at half time and the latter in particular was outstanding and was unlucky on more the one occasion not to add a goal to his two points.

After Joey Cunningham scored the opening point of the game, Dublin got to grips with the game and moved into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.

However, Kildare wrestled control of the game in the final ten minutes before the half, outscoring Dublin by 0-4 to 0-1 with all their points coming from Killian Browne, including one excellent effort into the wind.

From the very first ball in the second half, Dublin looked a different side and they were given a major boost when speedy corner back Ryan Mitchell got in for a goal in the 34th minute.

Dublin had opportunities to really kill the game off before the midway point of the second half but they couldn’t quite shake Kildare even though Burke and Reynolds-Hand raised with flags.

With four points separating the teams Kildare had half-hearted appeals for a penalty waved away when Eoin Cully collided with Dublin goalkeeper David Leonard.

That seemed to sharpen Dublin up even further and they saw the game out with a quick burst of 1-2, their goal coming from Luke O’Boyle in the 58th minute.

It’s some revenge for Dublin after losing Kildare in the Under-20 final the counties will meet in the third of the trilogy of Leinster finals when the senior teams meet on Saturday week.

Dublin: D Leonard; E Brady, D McCarthy, R Mitchell 1-0; J Brady, D Lucey, T Deering; D Clark, N Fitzgerald; P Reynolds-Hand 0-3 (2fs), J McCarville, L O’Boyle 1-1; J Quigley 0-3 (2fs), C Donovan, D Mulqueen. Subs: C Burke 0-2 for McCarville, h/t; C McMorrow 0-1 for Fitzgerald, h/t; J Smith for J Brady, 48; C Ó Riáin for Quigley, 60; S Mullarkey for Mulqueen, 60+2.

Kildare: F Quinn; N Cramer, E Lawlor, B Ryan; J McGuirk, J Harris, J Cunningham 0-1; R Sinkey, R Rainey; E Cully, B Loakman, C O’Reilly; TJ Nolan, K Browne 0-7 (5fs, 1’45), T Kelly. Subs: C Geraghty for Loakman, 42; C Kelly for O’Reilly, 46; DJ Percival for Nolan, 52; E O’Briain for Cunningham, 58; J Hanamy for Cully, 60.

Referee: P Coyle (Meath).

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