Friday 28 October 2016

Oliver leads McGuirk's minor maestros into semi-final

Fergal Whitely
Fergal Whitely

THE pitch resembled Lord's. Early on, it looked like Dublin were going to post a high innings.

Midway through the half, they were ahead by 1-6 to 0-1 with the accuracy of Matthew Oliver to the fore.

But then Antrim began to feel more comfortable in the boots. Yet Dublin got the job done with something to spare.

Now it's Tipperary in the semi-final of the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship on August 16.

"Tipp will be a huge challenge. There's no doubt about that," said Dublin manager, Johnny McGuirk.

The match was the first act of a double-header with the All-Ireland Football Qualifier between Fermanagh and Westmeath at Kingspan Breffni Park.

Antrim carved out chapters of promise. They recovered well to come within two points of the Blues before half-time, but that was as close as it got.

Dublin held a 2-11 to 1-8 interval advantage. Eoghan Conroy scored Dublin's opening goal.

Conor Small's 17th minute goal lifted the Glen, but Dublin responded with their second goal within a minute from Fergal Whitely.

Christy McNaughton's 42nd minute goal boosted the Ulster lads once more and left four points between them.

Yet Antrim were not to score again as Dublin stretched off into the distance, hitting seven points on the trot.

SCORERS - DUBLIN: M Oliver 0-11 (10f), F Whitely 1-2, E Conroy 1-0, M Maguire 0-3, C Sammon 0-2, E Foley, D Gray, A Considine, G King 0-1 each. ANTRIM: C McNaughton 1-6 (0-6f), C Small 1-0, K Malloy 0-2, C Doherty- Cunning, D McLaughlin, R McKee 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: E Skelly; C Hendricken, D Butler, C Ryan; E Foley, P Smyth, C O'Sullivan; M Oliver, F Whitely; C Sammon, M Maguire, D Gray; C Dowling, E Conroy, A Considine. SUBS: G King for O'Sullivan (38); D Ryan for Smyth (43); J McGuirk for Dowling (45); C Currie for Conroy (52); C Burke for Considine (58).

ANTRIM: B Connor; O McKenna, D Carey, C Carson; J Maskey, G Walsh, S Duffin; C McMullan, K Malloy; C Doherty-Cunning, C Small, C McNaughton; D McShane, D McLaughlin, R McKee. SUBS: J Daniels for McShane (43); C Blair for McKenna (43); A Burke for McLaughlin (51); D McKernan for Duffin (60); CJ McKenna for McKee (61).

REF: J Keane (Galway).

all-ireland mhc q-final: dublin 2-22 antrim 2-11

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