Cluxton back in goal as Dubs survive Kildare scare to book another Leinster final berth

April 30, 2023

Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton holds off a challenge from Kildare's Eoin Doyle during the Leinster SFC semi-final at Croke Park ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Dublin stayed on course for a 13th consecutive Leinster senior football title after leaving it late to overcome Kildare on a 0-14 to 0-12 scoreline at Croke Park.

The holders were pushed close by their neighbours at HQ and need points from substitute Cormac Costello and Lorcan O’Dell down the home stretch to book their provincial final place alongside Louth in two weeks’ time.

Much of the talk before throw-in had been over 41-year-old Stephen Cluxton making his first start in the Dubs’ goal since 2020, but it was Kildare were looking to grab the headlines as the scores of Jack Robinson (free), Ben McCormack and Darragh Kirwan saw them lead by 0-7 to 0-4 after 30 minutes.

Dessie Farrell’s side narrowed their deficit down to one before another Robinson free sent the Lilywhites in at the break with a 0-8 to 0-6 lead.

‘Man of the Match’ McCormack shot over his side’s ninth point three minutes into the resumption and Glenn Ryan’s side would hang on to the lead until the 53rd minute when Cian Murphy made it 0-11 apiece.

Neil Flynn erased Murphy’s effort but the Dubs would still come good in the closing quarter, with Jack McCaffrey levelling for them again ahead of Costello and O’Dell edging them to victory.

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