ULSTER ALL-STARS EDGE OUT GAVIN’S MEN
ULSTER ALL-STARS 2-18
Dean Rock finished with a personal tally of 0-10 (0-5f) but it wasn’t enough as the Ulster All-Stars edged out the Dubs in Saturday night’s #GameForAnto at Kingspan Stadium, Belfast.
A crowd in excess of 6,000 witnessed an entertaining duel that was competitive from first whistle until last as Dublin manager Jim Gavin utilised the opportunity to look at some new faces as he assembles his training panel for the 2015 season.
Kevin McManamon, who tallied 1-4 all from play over the 70 minutes in this 13-a-side contest, gave this side the ideal start when he chipped the ball over Rory Beggan’s head into the net in the second minute.
However, it was a lead that was very short-lived as Donal O’Hare responded immediately with a goal for the Ulster Selection.
While the Dubs only scored one goal on the night they had plenty of goalscoring chances with Eoghan O’Gara having his toe-poked effort cleared off the line by Peter Harte in the 12th minute.
Other first half goalscoring opportunities fell to the lively Jack McCaffrey whose 23rd minute thunderbolt cannoned off the crossbar while three minutes later Rock had his goalbound effort well saved by keeper Beggan.
Jamie Clare proved to a more than a handful for the Dublin defence in the opening half as his five points (including one free) had the sides on level terms by the half-time interval, 1-10 each.
A great run and finish by Ulster’s Michael McCann resulted in a goal on the restart and Beggan’s converted ’45’ pushed the home side four points clear.
The reintroduction of Kevin McManamon, who quickly clipped three unanswered points, all of his left boot, saw Dublin recover ground to trail by a point by the 51st minute, 2-13 to 1-14.
The effort by all the players did not relent as the likes of Brian Fenton, Davey Byrne (Nh Olaf), Niall Scully, Robbie McDaid and Lorcan Molloy all saw action for the Dubs as manager Jim Gavin ‘bloodied’ a number of players who do not have much senior intercounty action.
In the final minutes McManamon did his upmost to snatch victory for Dublin but Paddy McBrearty’s late point was enough to see the Ulster All-Stars to victory.
Saturday’s historic Gaelic football matchtook place at the home of Ulster Rugby, aimed at raising awareness of Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
#GameForAnto saw the 2013 All-Ireland champions Dublin face an All-star Ulster select team – managed by current Ulster boss Joe Kernan and former Donegal manager Brian McEniff – gather in support of Anto Finnegan’s deterMND Trust.
Anto, who featured in the Antrim senior team for 10 years, and captained the county to its first All-Ireland success in 1999 (B Championship), revealed in August 2013 that he was suffering from MND, an announcement that was followed by a groundswell of public support.
SCORERS – Ulster All-Stars: J Clarke 0-5 (0-1f), D O’Hare, M McCann 1-1 each, P McBrearty 0-3 (0-1f), S Campbell, E Bradley, P Cunningham (0-1f) 0-2 each, K Dyas, R Beggan (0-1 ’45’) 0-1 each. Dublin: D Rock 0-10 (0-5f), K McManamon 1-4, E O’Gara 0-3, P Ryan 0-2.