Bord Gais Leinster U20 Championship
Dublin 2-22 Antrim 1-8
Wednesday October 21
Brendan McTaggart reports from the Louth Centre of Excellence
A brilliant second half performance from Dublin saw off the resistance of Antrim with a bit to spare at Darver on Wednesday evening. Antrim played superbly in the first half and trailed by just four points at the short whistle with Niall O’Connor, Niall McCormick and Declan McCloskey excelling in defence.
The Dubs scored the opening goal in the 22nd minute when ‘keeper Eddie Gibbons converted from the spot but Daire Murphy brought the Saffrons back with Antrim’s major in the 30th minute. Seaan Elliott providing the assist but the young Rossa star leapt highest and got his fierce drive away despite coming under pressure.
The Saffrons impressed with their work rate and intensity in the first half but the second half belonged to the Dubs. They had more attacking threats all over the pitch and their defensive dominance allowed their forwards to flourish. Kevin Burke led their defence superbly from centre half while the introduction of Kevin Desmond at half time gave them another string to their attacking bow. He finished with 1-3 in his 30 minute cameo, his goal the highlight of the second half while he could have added to his major tally but for the brilliance of Tiernan Smith between the posts for the Saffrons.
Dublin turned the screw and held Antrim to just two points in the final 22 minutes of the half while the Murphy’s, Desmond and midfielder Darragh Power flourished. Their sheer physicality in the middle third allowed them to win the majority of second phase ball while their forward unit rotated with regularity, never allowing the Saffron defence to settle.
Antrim did hit some uncharacteristic wides throughout but they had no answer to the power of the Dubs who ran out 17 point winners by the final whistle.
DUBLIN: E Gibbons (1-00 pen); T Kinnane, A Dunphy, P Dunleavy; E O’Donnell, K Burke, D Leavy; M Sweeney (0-1), D Power (0-1); D McBride, M Murphy (0-5), L McDwyer (0-1); D Purcell (0-2), B Ryan, L Murphy (0-9 3f 1’65)
Subs: K Desmond (1-3) for B Ryan; I Ó Heither for D Leavy (44), M Conroy for A Dunphy (53)
ANTRIM: T Smith; R McCollum, N O’Connor, C McKay; C McKernan, D Murphy (1-00), D McCloskey; N McCormick, P Boyle (0-1); O Donnelly, A McGrath, C McFadden; S Elliott (0-6 2f, 1’65), D McEnhill, A Bradley
Subs: R McAteer (0-1) for O Donnelly (27), R Hill for A Bradley (37), L Donnelly for A McGrath (40), D McKeogh for C McKay (51)