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Thursday 19 October 2017

U16s pitch perfect as rivals falter

Boost for Blues ahead of Reilly Tournament final

DUBLIN'S U16 football team maintained their impressive recent form as they registered four wins from four starts in their inter-county blitz played in Nh Mearnóg, Portmarnock last Saturday.

Apart from their final group match against Wexford, Dublin were given a serious test of their credentials with the manner of their victories especially pleasing to manager Collie Moran.

"I think we were under a bit of pressure today against some very good teams and all the matches, apart from the last one when tiredness and fatigue were an issue for Wexford, were very competitive.

"When it was put up to the them in the other three matches, they responded very well and managed to get the wins so that was very encouraging from our perspective," said Moran.

Another positive for Moran was the return to the panel from injury of Castleknock's John Kindlon and Donal Timoney of St Brigid's, with their displays reflecting the depth in quality prevalent at this grade.

The matches, played over two halves of 15 minutes each, highlighted Dublin's progress over the past couple of months with their first win arriving after a narrow 0-8 to 1-4 victory over a Mayo North/South selection.

Eric Caffrey hit three crucial points in that win and Dublin continued in a similar vein with wing-backs Darren Byrne and Cathal Doran impressing in their side's 1-9 to 0-8 success over Mayo East/West.

Dublin's toughest assignment of the day came against an excellent Offaly outfit but 1-3 from full-forward Barra McGarry and a strong performance by Raheny's Brian Howard helped ensure a hard-earned 1-10 to 1-6 win.

Their day's work was complete when the Dubs emphatically accounted for Wexford by 3-6 to 0-1.

But Moran will expect a far tougher encounter next Sunday evening when they face Cavan in the final of the Gerry Reilly Tournament in Oldcastle (7.0).

The Dubs confirmed their final berth after relatively comfortable wins over Louth and Westmeath but Cavan will definitely represent a step up in class, according to the Ballyboden St Enda's clubman.

"Cavan have been going very well at underage in recent years and their under-16s is no different. They have been going very well in the Ulster competitions this year so I'm sure a big crowd will make the short trip over the county border for the match.

"Having said that, it is a challenge that we are really looking forward to and it is a great opportunity for our lads to continue their development against what is a very accomplished side," he said.

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