U16s impress in Munster
DUBLIN U16 FOOTBALLERS
Dublin's under-16 footballers enjoyed a successful and educational day out as they faced both Cork and Kerry in challenge matches in Mallow last Saturday.
With 30 players used over the course of the two games, with a different starting 15 used in either match, the Dubs got their day off to a welcome start as they defeated Kerry by 1-8 to 1-5.
The Dubs enjoyed a 0-6 to 1-2 interval lead and but for the heroics of the Kerry goalkeeper, Dublin's lead would have been far greater.
Despite the Kingdom resuming brightly in the second-half, Dublin enjoyed a purple patch of their own midway through the second-half with the defensive play of Davy Keogh from Thomas Davis and Daniel Danaher of St Sylvester's pivotal in their three point win.
In attack, Na Fianna's David Lacey and James Madden from Ballyboden St Enda's impressed in what was an impressive team performance from Tom Gray's charges.
"The display against Kerry was very encouraging as we were well behind Kerry last year so there are definite signs of improvement within the panel," said Gray.
Next up for Dublin was the challenge of host team Cork and despite a below-par first-half display, the Blues eventually succumbed by the narrowest of margins of 4-8 to 2-13.
Cork enjoyed a 3-4 to 1-2 interval advantage with Tom Magee netting for Dublin but there was greater cohesion and fluency to Dublin's play upon the restart.
A goal by Niall O'Leary of Kilmacud Crokes added momentum to Dublin's play with wing-back Mark Treacy of Cuala and Daniel Brennan from St Sylvester's showing well, the visitors finished strongly to fall by just a point.
"I was delighted with the effort of all the players, especially in the second-half," said Gray.
"They didn't drop their heads and they produced a great collective effort to come back at a decent Cork team.
"It was a really good day out for both the players and management as we learned quite a bit about ourselves in terms of where we are as a panel.
"What the matches highlighted is that we have a strong panel of players involved at this level and they should improve with the more experience they gain from playing matches like this against the top counties.
"Despite not winning both games, we were competitive throughout the day and that is what we are looking for at this stage of the year," added Gray.