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Brian McLoughlin (left) and Tony Archbold of Kildare celebrate after victory over Mayo in the EirGrid All-Ireland U-20 Football Final. 
Brian McLoughlin (left) and Tony Archbold of Kildare celebrate after victory over Mayo in the EirGrid All-Ireland U-20 Football Final. 

Kildare crowned EirGrid All-Ireland U-20 Football champions


Eirgrid All-Ireland U-20 Football Final

KILDARE 1-18 MAYO 1-16

By Paul Keane at Croke Park

Kildare are the inaugural Eirgrid All-Ireland U-20 football champions after a terrific Croke Park display inspired by the majesty of Jimmy Hyland.

The talented corner-forward, who made five senior appearances in this year's Allianz league, booted a match winning 0-10 haul in a high quality, end to end encounter.

The Ballyteague man is clearly one to watch for senior boss Cian O'Neill though it was a wonderful team display from Davy Burke's outfit.

Brian McLoughlin's early goal and 1-2 offering was significant too while Aaron Masterson lorded it at midfield in a memorable encounter.

Mayo contributed to a classic final and pushed hard late on after falling six points behind, reducing the deficit to just two at the finish.

But their day ended in double disappointment with midfielder Jordan Flynn red carded shortly before full-time.

It was terrific stuff from the start with a remarkable 24 scores, including two goals, in the opening 30 minutes alone.

Kildare led at that stage and hit the interval with a 1-13 to 1-9 advantage though they felt they should have been further clear.

They dominated Mayo at times in the opening half and roared 1-9 to 0-5 clear with 20 minutes on the clock.

Full-forward McLoughlin registered 1-2 in that period and showed his full array of skills in doing so.

He caught a high diagonal ball in from the left wing and turned full-back Brian O'Malley for his goal.

Minutes later he switched foots and this time curled a beauty over from the left off his left foot.

Kildare's efficiency in attack was terrific and their full-forward line of McLoughlin, Hyland and Paddy Woodgate finished the half with 1-8 between them, and 1-14 in total.

Hyland scored the last three Kildare points of the half though Mayo were much improved approaching the break.

They grabbed a goal through captain Ryan O'Donoghue when he took on the responsibility after a knock-down from Conor Diskin and strode clear for a wonderful solo goal.

Free-taker Ross Egan also clipped three points from placed balls as Mayo ran at Kildare's defence and forced them into conceding fouls.

Kildare ultimately finished the job with a blistering run of scoring between the 37th and 46th minutes when they hit four points without reply, all of them from Hyland.

It put the Lilywhites 1-17 to 1-11 clear and they hung on despite a spirited late Mayo comeback.

Scorers for Kildare: Jimmy Hyland 0-10 (0-2f), Brian McLoughlin 1-2, Aaron Masterson 0-2, Paddy Woodgate 0-2, Tony Archbold 0-1, Padraig Nash 0-1.

Scorers for Mayo: Ross Egan 0-7 (0-7f), Ryan O'Donoghue 1-2 (0-1f), Colm Moran 0-3, Conor Diskin 0-1, Oisin McLaughlin 0-1, Patrick O'Malley 0-1 (0-1 45), Evan O'Brien 0-1.

KILDARE: Aaron O'Neill; Mark Dempsey, Mark Barrett, DJ Earley; Tony Archbold, Jack Bambrick, Jason Gibbons; Aaron Masterson, David Marnell; Darragh Ryan, Padraig Nash, Stephen Comerford; Jimmy Hyland, Brian McLoughlin, Paddy Woodgate. Subs: Matthew Betts Symonds for Earley (13, black card), John O'Toole for Bambrick (h/t), Mark Glynn for Marnell (h/t), Cian Costigan for Nash (42), Sam Doran for McLoughlin (50, black card), Ruadhan O Giollain for Woodgate (64).

MAYO: Patrick O'Malley; Cathal Horan, Brian O'Malley, Johnny Maughan; Paul Lambert, John Cunnane, Oisin McLaughlin; Evan O'Brien, Jordan Flynn; Nathan Moran, Ryan O'Donoghue, Tommy Conroy; Conor Diskin, Ross Egan, Colm Moran. Subs: Joe Dawson for Maughan (10), John Gallagher for O'Brien (39), Liam Hughes for Conroy (50), Stephen McGreal for Moran (55), Sean Og Tigue for Horan (63, black card).

Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).

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