Skerries Star Stephen Smith Puts Himself On The Dublin Management Radar

Underdogs Stephen Smith - Paul Clarke

DUBLIN 5-17 UNDERDOGS 1-3

Two goals from Stephen Smith saw Dublin cruise to a comprehensive 26-point victory in Friday night’s TG4 challenge in Parnell Park over the Underdogs.

Dublin have manage to find up and coming senior stars during the off season for the past number of years. And it would be no surprise if Paul Clarke reported back some positive findings to Jim Gavin.

Dublin, under the watchful eye of Clarke will again feature in the O’Byrne Cup in the new season, a competition which has given many a Dublin football player an opportunity to catch the attention of the backroom team before preparations being for the new League Campaign.

Skerries Harps forward Smith was a member of Dublin’s U21 All-Ireland winning panel. And Friday night he finished with a tally of 2-4. He also made himself available for involvement in several other scoring opportunities, before being substituted with 20 minutes remaining.

Dublin’s starting lineup featured only five players who were members of this year’s All-Ireland panel. Goalkeeper Andy Bunyan, defenders Jonny Cooper, Michael Fitzsimons and Eoin Murchan as well as forward Conor McHugh.

Dubs v Underdogs - Stephen Smith

 

Smith’s Opening Goal

Smith struck for his first goal in the 16th minute when he carved through the Underdogs defence. Firing to the net with his left foot from 14 metres out.

Seven minutes later he was involved again, feeding Cormac Diamond through on goal. And the St Vincent’s man palmed to the net from close range as Dublin moved 2-8 to 0-2 clear by the interval. Both of the Underdog’s scores came from frees by Nigel Rabitt of Northern Gaels, Longford.

The Dubs started the second session with serious determination. Again, Smith’s movement invited a well-weighted handpass from Ballinteer St John’s Robbie Gaughan. He slided his finish clinically to the corner of the net. Towering midfielder Darren Gavin, also a member of Dublin’s All-Ireland winning U21 team of 2017, got on the scoresheet in the 32nd minute.

Dublin’s fourth goal arrived in the 40th minute when Ballyboughal’s Gerry Seaver made it 4-12 to 0-3.

Points from Kevin Callaghan, Colin Doyle and Seán Caffrey, son of 1983 All-Ireland winner John, had the Dubs 4-16 to 0-3 in front before Athlone player Richie Greene converted a penalty for the Underdogs.

But there was still time for Conor Halpin to get Dublin’s fifth goal in front of an attendance of around 4000.