Kildare beat Dublin to reach minor football final, Photo by Maurice Grehan
Kildare will play Meath in the Leinster Minor A final following their five-point victory over Dublin earlier today in TU Blanchardstown.
The key difference between the two teams was Kildare’s ability to take their goal scoring opportunities despite Dublin having most of the possession throughout this entertaining minor championship contest.
As the old saying goes ‘goals win games’, and this was the proven to be very true today with Kildare raising the green flag on four occasions to Dublin’s one.
Ava Cullen got the opening goal of the game in the 18th minute to put Kildare 1-03 to 0-04 in front. A minute later Sophie Ngai converted a Kildare penalty to give her side a five-point advantage.
Dublin to their credit responded quickly and decisively totally outscoring Kildare in the final ten minutes of the first half, nailing 1-04 to no reply. Points from Ava Lambe, Heather Bolger, Megan McAuley and Kate Donaghy plus a well taken Niamh Crowley goal gave Dublin a narrow lead at the interval, HT Dublin 1-07 (10) Kildare 2-03 (9).
The home side continued to dominant the second half but could not pull away from Kildare on the scoreboard. With 29 mins gone on the clock Kildare struck for their third goal with Sophie Ngai once again finding the back of the Dublin net. Kildare had now opened a precious two-point lead as the game headed into injury time.
Victory was sealed for the lily whites when substitute Grace Murtagh bagged her sides fourth goal in the 36th minute. Murtagh’s gaol killed off the Dublin challenge and confirmed Kildare’s place in the 2022 Leinster minor A Final.
Dublin will now turn their attention to preparing for the Minor B semi-final on June 22 next. Details on the fixture to be confirmed by Leinster Council.
Kildare, Sophie Ngai 2-01 (1P), Ava Cullen, Grace Murtagh 1-00 each, Niamh Farrelly 0-03 (3f), Muireann O’Loughlin, Edwina Birchall, Molly O’Loughlin 0-01 each.
Dublin, Kate Donaghy 0-05 (2f), Niamh Crowley 1-00, Ava Lambe 0-03, Megan McAuley, Heather Bolger Shaunah Feely 0-01 each.
Kildare: Niamh Barnes, Aine Mernagh, Niamh Hayes, Molly O’Loughlin, Olivia Monaghan, Muireann O’Loughlin, Siofra Galvin, Amy Larn, Hannah Breen, Niamh Farrelly, Ellie Kendrick, Sophie Ngai, Edwina Birchall, Ava Cullen, Ciara McDonald. Subs: Grace Murtagh for Muireann O’Loughlin, Joy Duggan for Breen, Claudia Gray for Monaghan, Zara Beatty for McDonald, Keevey Collins for Duggan.
Dublin: Lauren Quane, Amber Taylor, Megan Dignam, Rachel Callery, Sarah Power, Aine Rafter, Hannah McGinnis, Annabelle Timothy, Niamh Crowley, Kate Donaghy, Heather Bolger, Sophie McIntyre, Shaunah Feely, Megan McAuley, Ava Lambe. Subs: Ella Connolly for McAuley, Eabha Ni Maolagain for Callery, Niamh Donlon for Power, Shannon Russell for McIntyre, Sarah Rooney for Lambe, Ciara Murray for Bolger.
Referee: Ciaran Groome (Offaly).
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