St. Maur’s full forward Ciaran Archer is certainly the in form player in the Dublin U20 football set up

Ciaran Archer - Dublin U20 Football Panel
Image Credit – video still from GAA Beo on TG4

This weekend Tom Gray’s Dublin U20 Footballers travel to Portlaoise to face Cork, where new All Ireland U20 Champions will be crowned. Reigning All Ireland Champions Kildare had already been dethroned in Round 1 of the provincial competition. That leaves the door open for a new heir to the one year old throne.

Dublin entered the Leinster competition at the Quarter Final stage, and with them came Ciaran Archer.

Only a fringe player a year ago, Archer has shot the lights out in all four of Dublin’s championship games to date. And that started with a personal haul of 3-08 against Longford at the beginning of the month. Two goals from play and one from the penalty spot helped kill Longford, who struggled to contain the young forward. And of his eight points, five of them came from placed balls.

Another 1-08 (7f) would follow in Dublin’s Leinster Semi Final clash with Wexford in Parnell Park. A slightly lower scoreline with 1-17, but Dublin held Wexford to 0-06. It was a superb individual run straight through the middle from midfielder Donal Ryan led to a pass to the unmarked Ciaran Archer who blasted the ball past Darragh Brooks to extend Dublin’s lead to ten points. And that was only 16 seconds into the second half.

Archer saves the best for the provincial final

In possibly his best performance of the year, Archer was unstoppable against Laois as Dublin were crowned Leinster Champions. With his arms up for almost every opposition kick out, Archer pounced on the turnover opportunity for his first, and with one hop, steadied himself and buried the ball past Matthew Byron in the Laois goal for his first.

His second was right place right time, as Ross McGarry’s shot was deflected. And the reaction of Archer was cat like as he swung his boot at the returning ball to sink the score. Peadar O’Cofaigh Byrne was brought down in the square to give Dublin a penalty. And again Archer sent the keeper the wrong way to add his third.

An All Ireland Final Awaits

So with seven goals and twenty four points over three games in Leinster it was the All Ireland Semi Final up next. And Dublin expected their toughest test from a Galway side who’d beaten them comfortably in the recent John Kerins Development League, and had gone on to dominate the Connacht Championship.

Archer’s provincial form was not a test as he added another 2-06 to his own tally. Dublin were 2-06 to 1-04 up by the break, 2-03 of that was from the boot of the St. Maur’s star.

Brian O’Leary fielded the high ball from Karl Lynch Bissett and he fed Archer who drove his shot high into the Galway net. By the sixth minute he struck again. And an almost identical ball in from the left was caught by Archer who got past a few Galway defenders and scored beneath the advancing Oran Burke.

There’s one more game in the Championship, and Dublin’s goal will be to lift the title and become the second team to win the newly formed U20 Championship. For Archer? Nine goals and 30 points in four games. If that’s not laying a marker for the Dublin Senior Football backroom team, what is?

Dublin U20 Panel Championship Scores:

Ciaran Archer 9-30
Ross McGarry 0-11
Brian O’Leary 0-08
James Doran 0-08
Harry Ladd 1-02
Kieran Kennedy 1-00
Niall O’Leary 0-03
Conor Kinsella 0-02
David Lacey 0-02
Karl Lynch Bissett 0-02
Mark Lavin 0-01
Sean Lambe 0-01