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Published: 18:15 | 16/7/17

Dublin secure another Leinster title

Dublin have clinched a record seventh Leinster SFC title after they beat a dogged Kildare by 2-23 1-17 in the final at Croke Park.

In front of a crowd which was recorded as consisting of 66,666 paying spectators, the game appeared to be over as a contest inside the first 12 minutes.

After an encouraging start from the Lilywhites that saw the sides tied at 0-1 apiece after six minutes, Dublin began to control possession.

Within three minutes, points from Ciaran Kilkenny and man-of-the-match Con O'Callaghan had nudged Jim Gavin's men ahead before two goals in two minutes fired Dublin into a 2-3 to 0-1 advantage with just 12 minutes on the clock.

First, Dean Rock - who was black-carded not long after for a cynical, and pointless, pull-back on an opposition defender - showed great composure to sidefoot home after some lovely build-up play.

Not long after James McCarthy found himself in a great forward position and he remained cool before checking inside the defender and finishing from eight yards out.

Kildare had cause to be angry at McCarthy's goal as the Dublin defender appeared to take too many steps before pulling the trigger.

Another point from O'Callaghan put the Boys in Blue nine points ahead but four on-the-trot from Kildare - with a pair from Cathal McNally - cut the deficit and made it a contest once more.

O'Callaghan knocked over another for the Metropolitans' first point in eight minutes but a strong finish from Cian O'Neil's men saw Dublin hold just a four-point advantage at half-time.

Substitute Bernard Brogan was in sharp form after coming on for Rock and his second point of the afternoon restored Dublin's six-point lead.

Further points from the dead-eyed O'Callaghan, Jack McCaffrey and Brogan saw Dublin establish a 2-17 to 0-12 lead by the 52nd minute as their movement, pace and finishing proved too much for the battling Kildare side.

Deep in injury-time, Paddy Brophy lashed the ball home from close range to give Kildare the consolation strike their refusal to give up merited them.

However, the last score went to Dublin as they completed a 10-point win that underlines their scoring prowess.

But Gavin will be aware that his side allowed Kildare acres of space to burst through the centre of the pitch on too many occasions and later in the tournament that could prove more costly.

Dublin march on to another All-Ireland quarter-final while Kildare will take heart from their gutsy display as they drop back into the qualifiers.

Image: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

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