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O'Byrne Cup: Wins for Dublin, Longford and Carlow

After last night’s action Dublin look on course for top spot in Group B but there is still plenty to play for in Group A.

 Dublin's Bernard Brogan tackled by Johnny Cooper and William Lowry of DCU.
Dublin's Bernard Brogan tackled by Johnny Cooper and William Lowry of DCU.
Image: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Group A

Longford collected their first points in this season’s O’Byrne Cup with a 1-14 to 0-14 victory over UCD in Killoe last night.

Glenn Ryan’s side bounced back from last Sunday’s two point defeat to Meath in Ballymahon to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages.

UCD are out of the running for a semi-final spot after their second successive defeat, having previously lost last Sunday to Louth in Drogheda.

Longford made an explosive start, with Robbie Smyth impressing up front, and they lead by 0-7 to 0-0 at one stage. UCD bounced back before half-time but Longford raised the only green flag of the game through Aidan Rowan to help them to a 1-10 to 0-8 interval lead.

Despite the best efforts of Laois player Donie Kingston, the students could not claw back the deficit before the finish and Longford held on for success.

Last night’s other game in this group between Meath and Louth are postponed due to fog and has instead been refixed for tonight. The outcome is crucial to determining who will claim top spot after both counties won their opening games last Sunday.

Tonight: Meath v Louth, Páirc Tailteann, Navan, 7.30pm.
Sunday: Meath v UCD, Páirc Tailteann, Navan, 2pm; Louth v Longford, Drogheda, 2pm.

Group B

Dublin are firmly on course to top Group B and bag the semi-final place on offer, after their second successive victory arrived last night by a margin of 3-16 to 1-11 against DCU in Parnell Park.

Jim Gavin’s charges lead by 1-7 to 1-5 at the interval. Paul Hudson showed up well with some early points while Denis Bastick grabbed their goal but Longford’s Michael Quinn found the net before the break to give DCU some hope.

Dublin got an early second-half boost when Diarmuid Connolly planted the ball in the net from the penalty spot yet DCU stayed in the hunt thanks to the point-taking of Dean Rock. But the students suffered a major setback when they were reduced to 14 men following the dismissal of defender Willie Lowry.

And Dublin capitalized fully to pull clear with substitute Kevin McManamon tucking the ball home for their third goal to help seal an 11-point victory.

Dublin now only need a point from their final game at home to Wicklow in Parnell Park next Sunday to be assured of top spot. Wicklow lost out to Carlow last night by 0-12 to 0-9 in Bray.

Carlow lead by 0-4 to 0-1 after 2o minutes but Wicklow had trimmed the gap to 0-7 to 0-6 by the break. In a dramatic second-half, Carlow were reduced to 13 men and saw Wicklow miss a penalty but Brendan Murphy was amongst their point-scorers as Anthony Rainbow’s side held on for victory.

Sunday: Dublin v Wicklow, Parnell Park, 2pm; Carlow v DCU, Dr Cullen Park, 2pm.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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