There was to be no fairytale finish to this year’s Eirgrid All-Ireland under-20 football championship for Sligo on Saturday as Kildare ran out deserving winners at Kingspan Breffni on a final scoreline of 1-17 to 0-12.
The Leinster champions, who were beaten All-Ireland finalists last year (losing to Tyrone), clearly learned from that experience and produced an impressive display here.
They led by 0-9 to 0-4 at half-time with Sean Hanafin on the edge of the square causing Sligo plenty of problems in that opening half.
Sligo, appearing in their first ever All-Ireland U20 final, took a while to settle in this game.
Already without their injured captain Canice Mulligan, they suffered a series of injuries during the first 40 minutes of this game, which forced them to make several changes earlier than planned.
In fact, Sligo had used all five of their subs with 20 minutes still to go.
Matt Henry, Joshua Flynn, Ross Chambers and James Donlon all had to leave the fray at different stages.
For all their injury woes, Sligo took the game to their opponents in the second half – with Brian Byrne again making a telling contribution from the bench.
His second-half point closed the gap two two points (0-12 to 0-10) at one stage.
However, Kildare never panicked and the put sufficient pressure on the Sligo kickout in the second-half to yield a couple of key scores, including a goal, which was the score that decided the contest.
Eirgrid All-Ireland U20 football final
Kildare 1-17 Sligo 0-12