Kevin O’Brien reports from Croke Park
DUBLIN COASTED TO their 33rd Leinster MFC title with a convincing 13-point win over Louth in the curtain-raiser at Croke Park.
Goals from James Doran and James Madden inside the opening 10 minutes sent the Metropolians into a lead they wouldn’t surrender.
It was Dublin’s first time to land the Fr Larry Murphy Trophy in three years. This was their biggest margin of victory in the provincial final since their 1-19 to 0-6 win over Offaly in 2001.
The Dubs had 12 different scorers in an utterly commanding performance, with fine displays arriving from Kieran Kennedy, Eoin O’Dea, Ross McGarry and Sean Hawkshaw.
Full-back Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne, son of RTÉ presenter Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh, is a serious athlete and could well feature at senior level in the future.
Wayne Kierans’ Louth were contesting their first provincial decider since 1971, while they hadn’t lifted the title since 1953.
In the seventh minute, Dublin led by 0-2 to 0-1. Within the space of 40 seconds, they had the ball in the back of the Louth net twice and were pretty much out of sight.
Doran and Madden bagged a stunning individual goal apiece, both arriving from long runs that started outside the 45.
Louth’s Ciaran Keenan fired over three good frees before the break, but Dublin’s inside forwards of McGarry, Hawkshaw and Lacey had scored brace each from play by the half.
The Sky Blues led by 2-11 to 0-5 at the interval, and their lead was never in danger after the break. Impressive wing-back Eoin O’Dea clipped over his second score of the afternoon, while Mark Tracey launched a fine effort from distance to stretch their lead to 12 on 48 minutes.
John Gallagher and Keenan kept the Louth scoreboard ticking over with placed balls, but four points arrived off Dublin’s bench via Ciaran Archer (2), Luke Doran and Adam Byrne as they pressed home their advantage.
Scorers for Dublin: David Lacey 0-4 (0-1 45, 0-1f), James Madden 1-1, James Doran 1-0, Ross McGarry 0-3, Sean Hawkshaw, Eoin O’Dea and Ciaran Archer (0-1f) 0-2 each, Kieran Kennedy, Mark Tracey, Daniel Brennan, Luke Doran and Adam Byrne 0-1 each.
Scorers for Louth: Ciaran Keenan 0-6 (0-5f, 0-1 45), John Gallagher 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1 45), Liam Jackson and Fearghal Malone 0-1 each.
1. David O’Hanlon (Na Fianna)
2. Darren Maher (St Patrick’s Donabate)
3. Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne (Cuala)
4. Liam Flatman (Kilmacud Crokes)
5. Kieran Kennedy (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
6. Neil Matthews (Erin’s Isle)
7. Eoin O’Dea (Na Fianna)
8. Mark Tracey (Cuala)
9. Donal Ryan (Na Fianna)
10. Daniel Brennan (St Sylvester’s)
11. James Doran (Na Fianna)
12. James Madden (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
13. Ross McGarry (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
14. Seán Hawkshaw (Naomh Mearnog)
15. David Lacey (Na Fianna)
22. Adam Byrne (Naomh Olaf) for Brennan (38)
23. Ciaran Archer (St Maurs) for Lacey (47)
17. Aaron Lynch (St Sylvester’s) for Maher (50)
19. Luke Doran (Naomh Olaf) for O’Dea (54)
21. Karl Lynch Bissett (Naomh Mearnog) for Tracey (56)
24. Eoghan Joyce (Ballinteer St John’s) for Hawkshaw (59)
1. Alan McGauley (Naomh Mhuire)
2. Alan Connor (Gormaithe Baile Nua)
3. Philip Trainor (Naomh Mhuire)
4. Dan Corcoran (Na Gearaltaigh)
5. Leonard Grey (Naomh Padraig)
6. Eoghan Callaghan (Naomh Mairtin)
7. James O’Reilly (Ciceim Cuailgne)
8. Liam Jackson (Noamh Mhuire)
9. Conor Morgan (Naomh Maritin)
19. Ben Mooney (Na Gearaltaigh)
10. Gerry Garland (Naomh Mochta)
14. Ciaran Keenan (Naomh Mhuire)
12. Ferghal Malone (Ciceim Cuailgne)
13. Keelan O’Neill (Emmiti Na Ghleanna)
11. Conor Gillespie (Naomh Mhuire)
16. Adam Molloy (Na Piarsaigh) for McGauley (20)
18. Conor Nicholson (Na Gaeil Dundealgan) for Malone (ht)
24. Shane Hickey (Ronaithe Maiteoige) for Morgan (37)
22. Nicky Browne (Namoh Mochta) for Mooney (blood subs, 43 – 45)
23. Shane Byrne (Emmiti De Roiste) for Gillespie (49)
13. Keelan O’Neill (Emmiti Na Ghleanna) for Garland (51)
17. Dean McGreehan (Ciceim Cuailgne) for Grey (58)
Referee: Patrick Maguire (Longford)
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