Kildare marched on to a fifth successive O'Byrne Cup Final, thanks to a convincing win over Dublin Institute of Technology.

Kildare 2-15 DIT 0-09

In blustery conditions in Newbridge, defending champions Kildare turned over DIT to reach their fifth consecutive final of the O’Byrne Cup.

Kildare took an early lead in the match and DIT struggled to battle against the home side as they conceded a ten point defeat to the 11 time champions.

The Lilywhites opened the scoring with a pointed free from Eoghan O’Flaherty and they continued to dominate for the start of the match with five more unanswered points within the opening eight minutes, including a particularly good point from Éamon Murphy.

DIT’s first point also came from a free as Paul Brogan was tackled and Kildare’s Gary White received a yellow card. Corner forward Conor Madden landed the ball over the bar to open the scoring for the college side as they struggled to get started in the game.

Each side scored three more points each but Kildare cemented their stronghold on the game as Eoghan O’Flaherty fed a great ball into Seamus Hanafin who then slotted home the first goal of the game as the DIT backs just could not get to him.

Heading towards half time Kildare’s Éamon Murphy and Fionn Dowling each scored points and DIT goalkeeper Conor Ferris pointed a 45 from the final kick of the half with DIT trailing by nine points at the break.

DIT looked to be calmer after the restart and began well with two points from Conor Madden but the game’s pivotal point came when Eoghan O’Flaherty found the back of the net, as it seemed that DIT were unable to recover after the second goal.

“GMIT now on Wednesday week is a big one. We’re preparing for that at the moment and we’ll have another three or four training sessions next week in preparation for that and fine tune where we are at the moment.”

Kildare scored three more before Madden ticked over the DIT scoreboard again as DIT began to look more lacklustre in their attacks.

And they threatened to score a third goal but some great blocks and saves from the DIT backs and keeper kept them out however the damage was done at this stage.

Speaking after the match the DIT manager Sean Fox said that the college side weren’t expecting to win against the defending champions, but were happy to have gone further in the competition than they have before. He said that their main focus at the moment is the start of their Sigerson Cup campaign which they open against GMIT on January 28th.

“It’s the first time the college has gotten into the O’Byrne cup semi final and we’re close to the Sigerson now so it’s a way of using it as a training exercise ahead of that.” He said.

“The final [of the O’Byrne Cup] would have been four days ahead of the Sigerson which wouldn’t have been ideal. We were able to give some of the lads a run and we’ve learned a lot from it. I doubt there would be any college team in the country that would be big enough and strong enough to play that Kildare team.”

 “It didn’t go very well for us today but at the end of the day we didn’t really expect an awful lot more out of it considering the calibre of team that we were playing. Kildare obviously always push for the O’Byrne cup and we were happy to get as far as we could.”

“GMIT now on Wednesday week is a big one. We’re preparing for that at the moment and we’ll have another three or four training sessions next week in preparation for that and fine tune where we are at the moment.”