MATCH REPORT: DUBLIN v KILDARE LEINSTER MINOR FOOTBALL FINAL
Dublin claimed their seventh Leinster Minor title in a row on Easter Monday following a 13 point victory over Kildare in the 2017 Provincial decider.
Kildare to their credit played their part in this entertaining game despite the score line the home side kept Dublin on their toes especially in the opening period of the second half.
For the neutrals in attendance, the game as a contest was over by half time as Dublin took a fourteen point lead into the dressing room. Kildare who had numerous chances in the first ten minutes failed to deliver in front of the posts whereas Dublin nailed every scoring opportunity handed to them by the Lilywhites.
Player of the Match, Niamh Sheehan simply dazzled at full forward scoring an amazing 4-02 in a 15 minute spell which affectively sealed the 2017 title for the metropolitans. Kildare had no answer for the pace and quick movement of ball by the girls in blue. Caoimhe O’Connor, Danielle Lawless and Dearbhla Snow time and time again cut open the heart of the Kildare defence to set up Sheehan who finished expertly each time of asking.
Kildare never threw in the towel; Aine Nash especially was showing good form for the Lilywhites in the opening period of the game as the Monasterevin ace kept her side in touch scoring 5 points from play.
Full forward, Claire Melia netted for Kildare just before the half time break to give her side a timely boost, HT score Dublin 5-08 Kildare 1-06.
Dublin through Eimear Loughlin with a fantastic solo effort and Caoimhe O’Connor registered two quick points to push Dublin’s lead out further in the opening minutes of the second half.
Dublin killed the game off when they registered their 6th goal of the final in the 50th minute. Sheehan’s initial shot appeared to be stopped short of the line by Kildare keeper Emily McGrory but Dublin sub Clara O’Sullivan was on hand to ensure the ball did end up in the net to seal victory for the reigning champions.
Kildare were awarded a penalty for a technical foul in the small square which was converted by soccer star, Kelly. However Dublin at this stage where well out of sight to claim their 9th Leinster crown since 2008 and their seventh in a row.
Leinster champions Dublin will now have a considerable break to the All-Ireland semi-final which is down for decision on either the 15/16th of July. Leinster champions Dublin will play the winners of Connacht in the semi-final.
Niamh Sheehan 4-02
Caoimhe O’Connor 1-01
Aoibhe Bell 1-01
Danielle Lawless 0-03
Dearbhla Snow 0-03 (2f)
Jennifer Dunne 0-01
Eimear Loughlin 0-01
Clara O’Sullivan 0-01
Lauren Kelly 1-04 (1-00 pen, 1f)
Aine Nash 0-04
Claire Melia 1-00
Roisin Forde 0-02
Sorcha Gillman 0-01
Ella Hayes 0-01
1. Heather Smith
2. Shannon Murtagh
3. Rachel Brennan
4. Heather Bolger
5. Ella Thirroueiz
6. Siabh Hannigan
7. Sarah Fagan
8. Jennifer Dunne
9. Eimear Loughlin
25. Orla Martin
11. Dearbhla Snow
12. Caoimhe O’Connor
13. Danielle Lawless
14. Niamh Sheehan
15. Aoibhe Bell
19. Niamh Hetherton for 5. Ella Thirroueiz (38th Min)
10. Clara O’Sullivan for 11. Dearbhla Snow (42nd Min)
22. Kate Sullivan for 15. Aoibhe Bell (52nd Min)
17. Ciara McDunphy for 25. Orla Martin (58th Min)
27. Sarah McMahon for 14. Niamh Sheehan (61st Min)
1. Emily McGrory
2. Beth Doyle
3. Amy Horan
4. Tara Glynn
5. Clara Wosser
18. Dervla McGinn
7. Sorcha Gillman
8. Lara Cullen
9. Alanna McLoughlin
10. Aine Nash
11. Nicole Dooley
12. Neasa Dooley
13. Kayleigh Humphries
14. Claire Melia
29. Roisin Forde
Lauren Kelly for 7. Sorcha Gillman (27th Min)
15. Niamh Clarke for 13. Kayleigh Humphries (35th Min)
24. Ciara Breslin for 11. Nicole Dooley (41st Min)
6. Katelynn Doran for 29. Roisin Forde (48th Min)
23. Ella Hayes for 10. Aine Nash (53rd Min)
Player of the Match:
Niamh Sheehan (Dublin / Ballinteer St Johns)
Referee: Kevin Phelan (Laois)