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Dublin book place in Leinster MHC final after victory over Westmeath

The Dubs earned a comfortable victory ultimately, despite a tight first half.

File pic
File pic
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Dublin 1-17 Westmeath 1-8

DUBLIN CONFIRMED THEIR place in the Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Hurling Championship final after accounting for Westmeath by 1-17 to 1-8 at Cusack Park, Mullingar this afternoon.

With just two points separating the sides at the break, a tight second half was anticipated, but the visitors assumed control in the second period to confirm a well-deserved nine-point success.

The visitors showed well initially with the breeze at their backs and after Gavin King had converted a close-in free in the second minute, the Dubs added to their lead through excellent solo scores by Conor Burke and Mark Maguire in the ensuing four minutes.

However, Dublin were fortunate to escape in the eighth minute, as Killian Doyle had to content himself with a point when through on goal after Niall Mitchell had out-fielded his opposite number.

Although Maguire and Matthew Oliver soon restored Dublin’s control, Mitchell’s power was proving troublesome and he turned sharply to fire low past Eoin Skelly from 10 yards.

That goal undermined the confidence of Dublin as they continued to enjoy healthy amounts of possession without troubling the umpires as they struck eight dispiriting wides in the opening half, and points from Ciaran Doyle and James Goonery trimming Westmeath’s deficit to just two points (0-9 to 1-4) by the interval.

A fracas as the players left the field at the break added to the tension in Mullingar, with Dublin extending their lead within 30 seconds of the restart after an instant impact from substitute Eoghan Dunne.

The hosts struggled hugely in terms of their cohesion in the third quarter and they fell further behind as Donal Burke added three points before the contest was effectively settled on 45 minutes.

There appeared little trouble as Conor Burke’s innocuous delivery landed inside the home goalmouth, but after Conroy had spurned an open goal, Donal Burke prodded home from close range.

It proved far too comfortable for Dublin from that point, with the 53rd-minute dismissal of Paddy Doody, after a reckless challenge on Conor Ryan, completing a disappointing afternoon for Westmeath.

Scorers for Dublin: D Burke 1-5 (0-4f), M Oliver (0-3f), M Maguire 0-3 each, C Burke, G King (0-1f), E Conroy, E Dunne, A Mellett, C Ryan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Westmeath: N Mitchell 1-1 (0-f), C Doyle 0-4(0-4f), K Doyle 0-2, J Goonery 0-1.

Dublin: Eoin Skelly (Na Fianna); Cian Hendricken (Naomh Mearnóg), Ciaran Brady (Faughs), Conor Ryan (Craobh Chiaráin); Eoin Foley (Naomh Olaf), Paddy Smyth (Clontarf), Sean Hickey (Fingallians); Matthew Oliver (Na Fianna), Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes); Eoghan Conroy (St Maur’s), Mark Maguire (St Jude’s), Donal Burke (Na Fianna); Alex Considine (Kilmacud Crokes), Conor Burke (St Vincent’s), Gavin King (Na Fianna). Subs: Eoghan Dunne (St Brigid’s) for King (half-time), C Sammon (Craobh Chiaráin) for Oliver (39), Darragh Butler (Kilmacud Crokes) for Hickey (41), Aidan Mellett (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for C Burke (50), Ciaran Dowling (Lucan Sarsfields) for Maguire (54).

Westmeath: Aaron McHugh (Raharney); Darragh Qamar (Lough Lene Gaels), Kevin Regan (Cullion), Sean Lancaster (Castlepollard); James Bermingham (Castletown Geo), Peadar Scally (Clonkill), Darragh Egerton (Clonkill); Joe Rabbitte (Castlepollard), Jack O’Brien (Clonkill); Killian Doyle (Raharney), Ciaran Doyle (Raharney), Niall Mitchell (Clonkill); James Goonery (Raharney), John McCarthy (Castlepollard), Paddy Doody (Castletown Geo). Subs: Conor Kane (Castletown Gaels) for McCarthy (49), Fionn Dowd (Southern Gales) for Rabbitte (58).

Referee: Michael O’Sullivan (Kilkenny)

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