Kildare 1-16 -
Two lefts and a right from supersub Tomás O’Connor floored Dublin in Saturday night’s Bord na Mona O’Byrne Cup Final at Parnell Park. The Kildare forward bagged 1-2 in a couple of minutes to bag a tenth pre-season title for the Lilies.
O’Connor struck in the second period of extra-time as the sides finished level at 0-14 apiece at the end of normal time. Dublin began brightly in extra-time, scoring three points to take the lead at the break but O’Connor fired home a goal to level the game early in the second period. He scored points off his left and right feet to push Kildare ahead and Dublin had no answer as they ran out of steam in what was a cracking final. Dublin’s Denis Bastick was red-carded late on as tempers threatened to boil over.
The sides went toe-to-toe for the first half with Niall Kelly of Athy showing particularly well on his Kildare debut, scoring two points while Paul Mannion accounted for three of Dublin’s eight points before the break as Dublin took a slender lead at half-time, 0-8 to 0-7. Every time Jim Gavin’s side threatened to pull away in the second half, Kildare found the energy, with 35-year-old Johnny Doyle to the fore, to reel them in. Daniel Flynn levelled late on for the Lilywhite’s and substitute Seanie Johnston missed a great chance to steal the game in injury time but Kieran McGeeney’s men delivered in extra-time to claim the spoils.