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Dublin ease into their fifth consecutive semi-final - Donegal await

Dublin now face Donegal in the All-Ireland semi-final after today’s crushing victory over Monaghan.

Stephen Cluxton and Darren Hughes contest a high ball.
Stephen Cluxton and Darren Hughes contest a high ball.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Dublin 2-22

Monaghan 0-11

THE SEVENTEEN POINT winning margin really did reflect the gulf in class between Monaghan and Dublin in Croke Park today.

Dublin came out on top in pretty much all areas, against a tired looking Monaghan team who will rue a ten minute spell in the first-half in which Dublin bagged two crucial goals.

While both Bernard Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly did find the net, if it wasn’t for the casual finishing of Cormac Costello and again Connolly in the second-half, the scoreline could have been far worse for Monaghan.

James McCarthy and Kieran Hughes Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Dublin actually struggled early on and it took 25 minutes for them to shake off a determined Monaghan side who were defending in numbers and slowing down the tempo of the game.

With the teams level at three points apiece, Diarmuid Connolly scored a quick breakaway goal, with his first contribution from general play giving the Dubs their first score from play in the game thus far.

Over the next six minutes though Dublin outscored Monaghan by 1-3 to no score – A Bernard Brogan goal on 27 minutes contributing to a nine point lead.

Bernard Brogan score's his side's second goal Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

As the Monaghan team filtered back into their defence, they left the Dublin half-backs and midfield with far too much space, and the direct running of James McCarthy, Jonny Cooper and Michael Darragh Macauley in particular allowed the Dubs to maintain their nine-point lead going in at the interval.

Rory Beggan’s late 45′ and a long-distance effort from Dick Clerkin, were the only scores Monaghan could manage from the 18th minute when Conor McManus’ effort had levelled the scoring.

With Monaghan’s two key scoring threats; McManus and Kieran Hughes finding themselves further and further afield, the Ulster men were in need of a change of tactics going into the second 35 minutes.

James McCarthy on the attack Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Dublin burst straight back into their stride again after the break, with Paul Flynn and Connolly slotting a point each within a minute.

In fact it took 17 minutes for Monaghan to score their first from play in the second-half, with Dick Clerkin again being the man to step up as he had for their last score in the later stages of the opening half.

As Malachy O’Rourke’s, by now disheartened and frustrated side, were forced to open up and attack; Dublin’s forwards were then allowed extra space to manoeuvre. In all ten Dublin players scored, eight of which being forwards.

Monaghan never gave up, Colin Walshe, Drew Wylie and Conor McManus can all be happy with their individual performances, but last year’s Ulster champions still have a lot of improving to do in order to compete with the likes of Dublin.

Paul Flynn with Fintan Kelly Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Next up for Jim Gavin’s team is Donegal, but with just two games remaining in this year’s championship his team have not yet been tested – but are any of the remaining three teams capable of testing the Dubs?

Scorers for Dublin: Bernard Brogan 1-6 (0-5f); Diarmuid Connolly 1-2 (0-1f); Alan Brogan 0-3, Eoghan O’Gara, Dean Rock, Paul Flynn 0-2 each; Jonny Cooper, Kevin McManamon, Stephen Cluxton (0-1 45′), Cormac Costello 0-1 each.
Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus (0-3f) 0-6; Dick Clerkin, Kieran Hughes (0-2f) 0-2 each; Rory Beggan (0-1 45′) 0-1.

DUBLIN

1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells)

2. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)
3. Rory O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes)
4. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)

5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
6. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
7. Nicky Devereux (Ballinteer St John’s)

8. Michael Darragh Macauley (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
9. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)

10. Paul Flynn (Fingallians)
11. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s)
12. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s)

13. Alan Brogan (Oliver Plunkett’s / Eoghan Rua)
14. Eoghan O’Gara (Templeogue Synge Street)
15. Bernard Brogan (Oliver Plunkett’s / Eoghan Rua)

Subs:

18. Cormac Costello  (Whitehall Colmcille) for McManamon (44)
21. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams) for O’Sullivan (48)
28. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf) for Cooper (52)
25. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s) for O’Gara (54)
19. Darren Daly (Fingal Ravens) for McMahon (57)
26. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes) for B.Brogan (64)

Michael Darragh MacAuley and Conor McManus Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

MONAGHAN

1. Rory Beggan (Scotstown)

17. Ryan Wylie (Ballybay)
3. Drew Wylie (Ballybay)
4. Colin Walshe (Doohamlet)

5. Dessie Mone (Clontibret)
6. Vinny Corey (Clontibret)
7. Fintan Kelly (Clones)

8. Dick Clerkin (Currin)
9. Darren Hughes (Scotstown)

18. Kieran Duffy (Latton)
22. Stephen Gollogly (Carrickmacross)
12. Kieran Hughes (Scotstown)

23. Padraig Donaghy (Donaghmoyne
)
14. Chris McGuinness (Ballybay)
15. Conor McManus (Clontibret)

Subs:

11. Paul Finlay (Ballybay) for Donaghy (H/T)
25. Jack McCarron (Currin) for McGuinness (41)
21. Gavin Doogan (Magheracloone) for Gollogly (50)
2. Conor Boyle (Clontibret) for Duffy (59)
24. Eoin Duffy (Latton) for Clerkin (59)
19. Conor Galligan (Monaghan Harps) for Kelly (67)

Referee: Martin Duffy (Sligo).

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