Goals from Mark O’Leary, Conor Murray and Liam Dunne erased Louth’s lead without a trace to give the Dublin Minors the victory.
Another scorcher of a day and another game in Donnycarney’s head quarters following Dublin’s Senior Ladies clinching their first ever League Division 1 title yesterday. Today it was the turn of the men’s Minor Panel to start their Leinster journey facing Louth in the opener.
To their credit, Louth but in a fantastic performance for 45 minutes, but it Dublin clearly has some reserve in the tank to dominate the final quarter of the game, scoring 3-06 with no response from the wee county men.
From the start this was a very evenly matched contest, with Louth slightly shading the possession in the opening half, but Dublin managed to keep in touch with them. Mark Lavin and Mark O’Leary got the openers for Dublin with Daire Nally and Connall McCaul responding each time for Louth. Nally and Lavin again traded scores before Ryan Walsh would give Louth their first lead.
Louth had to make two changes their management probably didn’t enjoy, losing Carl Gillespie and Ryan Walsh early with injuries, but they continued to drive forward and turnover a lot of kickouts.
Enda Cashman pulled Dublin level in the 25th minute and from here it was cat and mouse for the rest of the half. Nally (2) and Michael Begley brought Louth’s tally to 0-07, with Sean Foran (2), Matthew Dunne and Mark Lavin giving Dublin the narrowest lead heading into the break on 0-08.
Lavin had the chance to get Dublin into a comfortable lead right at the beginning of the second half but saw a free hit the upright and a chance from play drift wide. Thankfully for Dublin, Louth first two attempts also missed the target before Matthew Dunne finally got Dublin up and running in the seventh.
But Louth weren’t quite done as Tom Jackson, set up by Craig Lennon, buried the ball in the back of the Dublin net moments later to give Louth a one score advantage over Dublin. Sadly for them it would be their last action with way over a quarter of the game still to go and Dublin were beginning to click.
And click they did, with Dublin introducing Sean Guiden and Josh Bannon to the fold to strengthen the attack. O’Leary pointed to level the game at the start of the closing quarter, and 2 minutes later as Sean Foran rallied toward goal, O’Leary was in the perfect position to palm the ball past Martin McEneaney and Dublin were 0-03 clear.
Conor Murray came close to scoring Dublin’s second goal minutes later but right in front of goal he blasted the ball over the bar. Sean Foran hit a beautiful point to take Dublin 0-05 clear with less than five minutes on the game clock.
Murray made absolutely no mistake on his second attempt slicing right through the Louth defence to blast the ball into the net for Dublin’s second green flag. A minute earlier he had put one over following another O’Leary point, and Dublin were now 0-10 clear after the game has been so tight for so long.
Substitute Liam Dunne killed the game completely with Dublin third goal, Louth literally had no response. And with Sean Foran fully deserving of the final score, the boys in blue capped off the Bank Holiday weekend with a more than convincing win in their opening Leinster encounter.
Mark O’Leary 1-03
Conor Murray 1-02
Sean Foran 0-04
Mark Lavin 0-03 (2f)
Liam Dunne 1-00
Matthew Dunne 0-02
Enda Cashman 0-01
Daire Nally 0-04 (2f)
Tom Jackson 1-00
Ryan Walsh 0-01 (1f)
Connall McCaul 0-01
Michael Begley 0-01
1. Simon Murphy
2. Noel Hatton
3. Adam Fearon
4. Adam Rafter
5. Rory Dwyer
6. Conor O’Brien
7. Mark Lavin
8. Eoin Adamson
9. Ciaran McManus
10. Mark O’Leary
11. Conor Murray
12. Enda Cashman
13. Matthew Dunne
14. Conor Hennessy
15. Sean Foran
23. Luke Swan for 12. Evan Cashman (H/T)
17. Josh Bannon for 2. Noel Hatton (43)
22. Sean Guiden for 13. Matthew Dunne (46)
21. Liam Dunne for 6. Conor O’Brien (48)
19. Jake Rooney for 4. Adam Rafter (27)
20. Alex Watson for 10. Mark O’Leary (60)
1. Martin McEneaney
2. Nathan Buckley
3. Paul McEvoy
4. Tom Jackson
5. Cathal Flemming
6. Craig Shevlin
7. Gabriel Bell
8. Connall McCaul
9. Joe Mee
10. Carl Gillespie
11. Daire Nally
12. Ruairi Hanlon
13. Sean Healy
14. Ryan Walsh
15. Jonathan Commins
23. Craig Lennon for 10. Carl Gillespie (17)
21. Michael Begley for 14. Ryan Walsh (23)
22. Patrick Johnson for 13. Sean Healy (H/T)
17. Patrick Murtagh for 3. Paul McEvoy (50)
20. Conor Quigley for 15. Jonathan Commins (56)