MALAHIDE coach David Aston conceded that Dundalk were deserved winners last Friday at the Broomfields but believes that the result was not a proper reflection of the quality on the Malahide panel.
Dundalk Colleges 3-16
Malahide CS 1-2
"We were missing the likes of Kevin O'Flynn, Shane McGrath, Conor Mullarkey and Jack Hazely.
"They definitely would have made a difference, especially as it was always going to be tough.
"The lads gave their best and they gave 100 per cent against a far superior team. But it's not easy with a school of our size. When you miss one or two players you really do feel it."
McGrath, having just broken onto the St Pat's Donabate senior panel, is involved with the Dublin minors this year and Aston believed that Malahide certainly missed him on the day.
"Shane would have been a big loss for us. He trained with Dublin minors last week but fell ill and hadn't been in school since.
"He is a big strong lad and I think he has a chance to make it into that team with a bit more football in him. He is definitely an option for them."
On the day, Daniel McKeown was the big difference between the sides, registering 3-1 in the first half as the combined colleges raced into an unassailable 3-9 to 0-1 lead at the break.
McKeown, after firing in Dundalk's first goal on 10 minutes, was definitely his team's go-to guy on the day and added two further goals in the 18th and 24th minutes while county minor, Josh Arrowsmith, featured prominently at centre forward.
While Malahide did manage to find the back of the net via a Dylan McEvoy penalty midway through the second half, Dundalk never looked troubled with Taghd McEneaney and Adam Lynch both coming off the bench to register scores.
Scorers - Dundalk Colleges: D McKeown 3-3, K McDonnell 0-2f, D Maguire, J Arrowsmith, R Curran, R Kehoe 0-2 each, C Sheridan 0-1 ('45), T McEnearney 0-1f, A Lynch 0-1. Malahide CS: D McEvoy 1-1 (1-0 pen), D Walsh 0-1.
Dundalk Colleges: Gavin Douglas; James Loughran, Conor Lenehan, Stephen Bellew; Peter Thornton, Cillian Kirk, Daniel McKeown; Ciaran Sheridan, Joseph Hanna; Karl McDonnell, Josh Arrowsmith, Robbie Curran; Ross Kehoe, Paddy Byrne, Dean Maguire. Subs: Tadhg McEneaney (35) Matthew Corcoran for Kehoe (35), Adam Lynch for Hanna (45) Ross Murphy for Maguire (52).
Malahide CS: Kevin Morris; Cian McCann, Conor Quinn, Eoghan Hamill; Stephen Morgan, Alan Kavanagh, Kevin McLoughney; Cian ó Scolaí, Stephen McConny; Jamie Storey, Dara Walsh, Eoin Kennedy; Sean McMahon, Dylan McEvoy, Liam Watson. Subs: Lee Duffy for McMahon, Dylan Connolly for Morgan (h-t), Sean Keating for Kennedy 42.
Referee: D Browne (Skryne)