Saturday 22 October 2016

Dublin impress in passing test of Faith despite Offaly keeper Rohan frustrating Christie's Cubs

Dublin 2-14 Offaly 1-7

Dublin’s Kevin Callaghan (l) and goalkeeper Evan Comerford celebrate. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin’s Kevin Callaghan (l) and goalkeeper Evan Comerford celebrate. Photo: Sportsfile

Dublin produced an encouraging display as they comfortably accounted for Offaly by double scores in their Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship 1st round encounter at Parnell Park last Saturday lunchtime.

Apart from a sloppy period of play around the third quarter mark, Paddy Christie's Dubs were full value for their ten-point win as they played the more compelling football throughout with Offaly goalkeeper Barry Rohan making a string of superb saves to keep the scoreline at a respectable level.

Dublin saw their lead whittled down to five points which will cause a degree of concern given how they largely controlled matters but their progression was never really in doubt once Seán Bugler converted a 53rd minute penalty following a foul on the impressive Kevin Callaghan.

The contest started in a relatively even manner with Dublin being rewarded for some early pressure through a Bugler point and a Conor Hynes free after Rohan had repelled a Callaghan effort.

The visitors enjoyed some sporadic periods of control early on and they restored parity by the 8th minute thanks to points from Shane O'Brien and Eoin Farrell.

Gradually, the hosts began to monopolise possession with Nathan Nolan particularly busy at midfield and a brace of excellent points by Tom Keane added to their tally before Hynes was unfortunate to see a cracking drive cannon to safety off Rohan's left-hand upright.

A Cian Johnson point stemmed the flow briefly but with Aaron Bradshaw becoming increasingly influential, Dublin inched themselves clear through scores by Callaghan and Mark Donnelly.

With Dublin impressing defensively through corner-backs Rob Shaw and Ciarán Smith, an 0-8 to 0-3 interval lead was confirmed as Callaghan and Hynes kicked late scores.

Despite striking early through a David Fleming free, Offaly struggled for possession in the third quarter with Dublin looking more fluid in attack following the introduction of Dan O'Brien.

The Kilmacud Crokes player played a key role in Dublin's opening goal as he timed his pass to perfection, allowing Bradshaw to shoot past Rohan in the 33rd minute.

That lead was enhanced as Evan Comerford, Callaghan and Hynes added points before the latter saw a 41st minute penalty saved by Rohan.

Offaly took heart from that and netted four minutes later through midfielder Micheál Molloy but Dublin managed to regain their momentum through Bugler's penalty before finishing strongly through a brace of points by wing-back Conor Lennon in the closing stages.

leinster mfc 1st round: dublin 2-14 offaly 1-7

Scorers - Dublin: S Bugler 1-1 (1-0 pen), C Hynes (3f), T Keane, K Callaghan 0-3 each, A Bradshaw 1-0, C Lennon 0-2, M Donnelly, E Comerford ('45') 0-1 each.

Offaly: M Mooney 1-0, S O'Brien (1f), C Lynam (1f) 0-2 each, E Farrell, D Fleming (f), C Johnson 0-1 each.

Dublin: E Comerford; R Shaw, N Doran, C Smith; C Lennon, J Holland, M Tighe; N Nolan, M Donnelly; J Madden, S Bugler, A Bradshaw; T Keane, K Callaghan, C Hynes. Subs: K Murray for Tighe (17, BC), D O'Brien for Madden (half-time), A Kelly for Donnelly (35), D Lacey for Murray (51), E Fitzpatrick for Nolan (55), P O'Flaherty for Callaghan (58).

Offaly: B Rohan; R Hynes, D Kavanagh, J Quinn; K Hartnett, S Geoghegan, D Molloy; M Mooney, S Molloy; S O'Brien, C O'Neil, A Delaney; C Johnson, D Fleming, E Farrell. Subs: K Higgins for Hartnett and C Lynam for Johnson (37), L Gavin for O'Neil (46), S Farrell for Fleming (53), D Norris for E Farrell (58), R Galbraith for Delaney (60).

Referee: Seamus Mulhare (Laois)

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