Kildare defeated Donegal Schoolboys 3-2 after extra time in the Under 16 Inter League semi final played in Naas on Saturday and in doing so qualified to meet Cork in the Under 16 All Ireland final to be played on Sunday 27th May in Cahir Park Tipperary, writes PAT McNALLY.
Kildare looked the more likely to score in the early stages and deservedly took the lead after eleven minutes when Conor Delahunty headed in at a the far post after a great free kick by Evan Herd.
The game flowed from end to end with both sides striving to get the upper hand. In a game that always threatened to boil over there was no quarter asked or given by either side.
Donegal came close to an equaliser in injury time in the first half when a long kick out from Donegal keeper David Tyrell was let bounce by the Kildare defence and Joe McIntyre nipped in only to see his first time shot go over the bar.
The second half saw Donegal push Kildare back on defence. It was at this time that the real heroes emerged when Ryan Fenner, Conor Kavanagh – surely he is looking at better things ahead in the game – Aaron Fattore Abdul Babiker and Conor Whelan were majestic.
Donegal won a few corners but the Kildare defence stood strong, however it was from a corner that Donegal equalised when their man of the match Ryan Ronay nipped in to head inch perfect inside the left hand post.
Kildare had to up their game and so they did and it was Ross McMahon who was on hand after a defensive error to tap home to put Kildare back in front.
Kildare were hanging on and with the game nearly over – 3 minutes into injury time Donegal equalised and it was from that man Ronay again.
This goal left the Kildare lads totally dejected as the final whistle sounded immediately on the kick off.
Dave Herd and Liam Harte gave their team a major pep talk before the start of extra time. The sides were still level going into the second half of extra time and it was going to have to be something special to win this game for Kildare.
Up stepped Evan Herd and having being awarded a direct free kick on the D on the edge of the box he hit it first time to roof of the net despite the vain efforts of David Tyrell in the Donegal goal.
There were only two minutes remaining and in those two minutes despite their best efforts Donegal were unabale to break down a stubborn Kildare defence.
Matters were not helped by Donegal being reduced to nine men and Kildare now march on to play Cork in the All Ireland final.
Kildare and District Underage League:
Ryan Fenner, Aaron Fattore, Conor Whelan, Abdul Babiker, Conor Kavanagh, Lyle Hood, Evan Herd, Des Mann, Thomas Carlisle, Conor Delaahnuty Sergio Camara. Subs: Adam Meenahan, Paddy Dunne, Ross Mc Mahon, Nial Crowe Ian Meehan
Donegal Schoolboys League :
David Tyrell, Padraic Ferris, Noon Manley, Ryan Ronay, Dylan Hegarty, Chris Flanagan, Cormac Callaghan, Dale Gorman, Jordan Toland, Darragh Bland, Joe Mc Intyre Subs: Cian Moloney, Ryan Mc Closkey, Cian Mc Pherson, Michael Miller, Conor Blaney, Densi Mc Carry, Kennedy Boachia