Wednesday 23 January 2019

Boys in Blue breeze past Laois to set up Lilies clash...but fans agree there's room to improve

THEY have clashed on many memorable occasions over the past decade and a half, and now all eyes are on June 26 when the Dubs take on Kildare again.

The neighbours and old enemies will meet in the Leinster semi-final, after the Blues and the Lilywhites progressed yesterday.

Both sides cruised through their quarter finals, against Laois and Meath, to set up a mouth-watering clash, which should see a full house at Croke Park.


The Blues kicked off their All-Ireland campaign with an eight-point victory over Laois, while the Lilywhites had six points to spare over arch-rivals Meath.

Pat Gilroy's Dubs illustrated their All-Ireland credentials by easily seeing off Justin McNulty's men in a one-sided affair.

Laois rallied at the beginning of the second half but a Dublin side, inspired by the Brogan brothers, gained the upper hand and an attendance of 41,876 saw them triumph 1-16 to 0-11.

Despite the win for the Dubs, some fans were disappointed with their heroes' performance and felt it was mediocre.

"I thought the lads were too quiet, they were running around without hunger," said Ciaran Dore from Lucan, at the match with pal Andy Hope.

"A win's a win, but they need to rethink their strategy and get the finger out."

Jenny Inglis from Clonsilla went along with Mark O'Brien from Tallaght and felt similarly disheartened.

Brothers Niall, David and Ray Donohoe from Swords made it a family occasion: "We did what we had to, but I wouldn't say it was an impressive game.

"We'll be hoping for more from the boys in the next round," said Niall.

"We had to grind out a good win, but hopefully there's more to come," David agreed.

Proud supporters Jason Powell and Stephen Mahasey turned out to cheer on the lads.

In spite of the final score-line, the Blanchardstown pair said it was like watching paint dry: "It should have been a cricket score."

Paul O'Connor, also from Blanchardstown, brought his son Ryan (14) to the quarter-final: "I suppose it was the first match of the championship so it was hard to judge.

"Although we didn't win the League, we progressed and hopefully we'll only get better in this stint too," he said.

"Stephen Cluxton had a fair game, but we should not rely on him to guarantee us points every time," said Ryan.

Castleknock native John Joyce also felt it was a weak performance.

"No one stood out for me, at one stage our top scorer was Cluxton. There was no excitement by either side -- it was a sad reflection of Leinster football," he summed up.

Paula Tyrrell, from Clonsilla agreed: "It was quite slow and dormant -- Alan Brogan stepped it up, however."

Patrick Waterhouse and four-year-old son Cian, who hail from Lucan, thought it was a fine presentation of football, especially for the lads' championship opener.


Castleknock man Joe Sweeney was another fan who gave the thumbs up to Alan Brogan: "Dublin managed to succeed -- we'll have stronger competition against Kildare."

Dad Ian Duffy and son Sean (10), from Artane: "They had a reasonable game -- we're looking forward to the next match."

Dubs supporters will be looking forward to an improved tactical performance from the Blues in their bid to continue on the road to All-Ireland glory.

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