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Dublin cruise past Offaly to claim the first ever Leinster U21 four-in-a-row

Dessie Farrell’s men ran out 2-14 to 0-8 winners.
Mar 29th 2017, 9:04 PM 10,118 0

Dublin 2-14

Offaly 0-8

Kevin O’Brien reports from O’Moore Park, Portlaoise

IT ISN’T QUITE as pronounced as their dominance at senior level, but Dublin maintained their stranglehold on the EirGrid Leinster U21 football championship in O’Moore Park tonight.

Tom Fox celebrates scoring a goal Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dessie Farrell’s men completed the first ever Leinster four-in-a-row in at this grade, but it wasn’t a performance that will last long in the memory.

This was never a game Dublin looked like losing, although the quality of their play will have to improve significantly if they’re to bring a first U21 All-Ireland back to the capital in three years.

It wasn’t as straightforward as the scoreline suggested – Offaly battle gamely for long spells, but didn’t have the potency in front of goal to make this a close contest.

Trailing by five at half-time, the Faithful added just three frees after the break. Dublin, meanwhile, were happy to sit deep and pick off scores on the break.

Con O'Callaghan and Cillian O'Shea Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Colm Doyle stands dejected after defeat to Dublin Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dublin hit an unanswered 1-4 the five minutes either side of half-time, with Tom Fox finding the net. Substitute Stephen Smith bagged a late goal to put the icing on the cake.

Con O’Callaghan was well marshalled by David Dempsey for the majority of the game and scored just twice from play, while he also tapped over a couple of frees.

Offaly arrived in O’Moore Park chasing their first Leinster crown since 1995 in hope rather than expectation, but Dublin’s class eventually shone through in a scrappy affair.

Offaly started brightly and early scores from inside duo Tierney and Dunican left them trailing the Dubs by 0-3 to 0-2 after the opening ten minutes.

Aaron Byrne took 11 minutes to open his account, but by the 25th minute he had four points on the board.

Marley and Sally make their way into the Dublin vs Offaly final in Portlaoise Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dublin’s runners from deep were causing Offaly problems, while at the other end eight first-half wides didn’t help matters. Dublin reeled off three of the last four scores of the half to go in at the interval leading by double scores, 0-10 to 0-5.

The champions had 1-1 on the board before Offaly could draw breath after the restart. O’Callaghan slipped through the well-timed run of Fox for the three-pointer, which left Offaly trailing by nine.

Tierney and Hayes put over three frees between them for Offaly but it was all they would manage as Dublin cantered home. O’Callaghan picked off a couple of scores and then Stephen Smith burst through for a goal to round off the victory.

Scorers for Dublin: Aaron Byrne 0-4, (0-1 45), Con O’Callaghan 0-4 (0-2f), Stephen Smith 1-0, Tom Fox 1-2, Chris Sallier 0-1, Glenn O’Reilly 0-2, Eoin Murchan 0-1.

Scorers for Offaly: Shane Tierney 0-4 (0-1f), Jordan Hayes 0-3 (0-2f), Patrick Dunican 0-1.

Dublin

1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

5. Declan Monaghan (Clontarf)
6. Sean McMahon (Raheny)
2. Darren Byrne (Raheny)

23. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)
3. Cillian O’Shea (Kilamcud Crokes)
10. Cian Murphy (Thomas Davis)

8. Andy Foley (Clontarf)
7. Brian Howard (Raheny)

11. Tom Fox (Kilamcud Crokes)
19. Dan O’Brien (Kilmacud Crokes)
12. Aaron Byrne (Na Fianna)

13. Chris Sallier (Thomas Davis)
14. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
17. Glenn O’Reilly (Na Fianna)

Subs

15. Stephen Smith for Sallier (40)
18. Sean Bugler for O’Brien (42)
9. Darren Gavin for Fox (42)
21. Aaron Elliot for O’Reilly (51)
20. Andrew McGowan for Monaghan (56)

Offaly

1. Barry Rohan (Shannonbridge)

2. Clint Horan (Clodiagh Gaels)
3. David Dempsey (Ballycommon)
4. Colm Doyle (Clara)

5. Adam Mahon (Edenderry)
17. Jack Egan (Ferbane)
7. PJ Daly (Cappincur)

8. James Lalor (Raheen)
9. Jordan Hayes (Edenderry)

10. Ciarán Farrell (Edenderry)
11. Paddy Dunican (Shamrocks)
12. Jack Walsh (Gracefield)

13. Ronan McEvoy (Shannonbridge)
14. Ruairi McNamee (Rhode)
15. Shane Tierney (Daingean)

Subs

18. Kyle Higgins for Daly (41)
23. Jake Clancy for Dunican (49)
6. Carl Stewart for Egan (58)

Referee: David Hickey (Carlow)

LIVE: Dublin v Offaly, EirGrid Leinster U21 football final

Farrell makes three changes to Dublin U21 side aiming for fourth successive Leinster crown

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Kevin O'Brien

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