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Alan Nolan made his return to the Dublin jersey today but Pat Gilroy's side were defeated

Dublin went down to the Dubs Stars by six points in their annual challenge game.

Dubs Stars 1-24

Dublin 0-21

Kevin O’Brien reports from Páirc Naomh Uinsionn, Marino

PAT GILROY WATCHED an experimental Dublin team lose to the Dubs Stars in their annual challenge game in his home club of St Vincent’s this afternoon.

Players from both sides scuffle as Dublin manager Pat Gilroy looks on Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Alan Nolan became the latest player outcast by Ger Cunningham to make his return in the blue jersey, following in the footsteps of Peter Kelly, Johnny McCaffrey and Danny Sutcliffe in rejoining the panel.

McCaffrey was part of the victorious Dubs Stars side, which also included fellow Dublin pannelists Gary Maguire, Chris Crummey, Paul Winters, Fergal Whitely and Alex Quinn.

Winters top-scored for the Dubs Stars – the pick of club players from the capital – with eight points while Alex Quinn and Gavin King hit three points apiece and Fergal Whitely fired over a brace.

Tom Connolly – brother of football star Diarmuid – had an fine game at wing-back and got on a mountain of ball for Dublin. He’s an aggressive defender and a fine athlete – two qualities that could make Connolly an appealing option for Gilroy over the next couple of months.

Eoghan Dunne with James Mahon Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Pat Gilroy and Anthony Cunningham Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Interestingly, Gilroy went with seven defenders for the first-half with Darren Kelly operating as a sweeper and they left John Hetherton and the impressive Ó Fionn Riain Broin as the two full-forwards.

Alan Moore’s 10th minute goal left the Dubs Stars in front by 1-11 to 0-13 at the interval, and after the restart Dublin reverted to a more traditional 15-on-15 game.

The game opened up after the break and it was a far more physical affair than the football curtain-raiser.

Half-time substitute Cian McBride chipped in with three points for the Dubs Stars to leave them 1-20 to 0-18 in front after 53 minutes, as Dublin’s shooting continued to let them down.

Dublin midfielder Cillian Costello finished with 0-4 from play while Robbie Mahon enjoyed a good hour at centre-forward and both players should see more game-time in the pre-season.

Dublin’s Bord na Mona Walsh Cup campaign begins with an outing against Meath in Abbotstown on 3 January.

Both teams were without the All-Ireland-winning Cuala contingent who are preparing for an All-Ireland semi-final in the New Year.

Alan Moore, Keith Connolly and Niall Corcoran celebrate with the trophy Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Scorers for Dubs Stars: Paul Winters 0-8 (0-2f), Alex Quinn, Gavin King and Cian McBride 0-3 each, Alan Moore, Fergal Whitely and Paul O’Dea 0-2 each, Chris Crummey, John Walsh, Conor Burke and Davy Keogh 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: Fionn O Riain Broin 0-6 (0-1f), Cillian Costello 0-4, Robbie Mahon 0-3, Paul Crummey 0-2, Donal Burke, Eoghan Dunne, Darren Kelly, Daire Gray, Bill O’Carroll and Matthew McCaffrey 0-1 each.

Dubs Stars

1. Gary Maguire

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3. Kevin Hetherton
4. Barry Aird
21. Cathal Doyle

5. John McCaffrey
6. Chris Crummey
7. Peter Feeney

8. Gavin King
9. Paul O’Dea

10. Paul Winters
11. Fergal Whitely
12. Alan Moore

13. John Walsh
14. Conor Burke
15. Alex Quinn

Subs

18. Davy Keogh for O’Dea (35)

Dublin

1. Alan Nolan

4. Cian Hendriken
3. Paddy Smyth
6. Bill O’Carroll

2. Darren Kelly

7. Shane Barrett
8. Ronan Smyth
5. Tom Connolly

22. Eoghan Dunne
9. Cillian Costello

15. Paul Kelly
11. Robbie Mahon
10. Paul Crummey

14. Conor Burke
13. Fionn O Riain Broin

Subs

24. Matthew McCaffrey for Hetherton, inj (26)
20. Daire Gray for Dunne (27)
25. Emmet McKenna for Smyth (38)
19. Sean O Riain for Kelly (40)
18. Ryan Curley for O’Carroll (45)
26. Eoghan Smyth for Mahon (48)

Referee: Finbar Gaffney (Na Fianna)

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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