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Ballymun blow Tower's apart

Byrne brace helps Kickhams to 25-point victory

BALLYMUN KICKHAMS 4-17

ROUND TOWER, CLONDALKIN 0-4

BALLYMUN KICKHAMS laid down a marker of intent in this year's championship with a one-sided victory over Clondalkin's Round Tower in this Evening Herald Dublin SFC fourth-round match under lights at Newcastle last night.

Ten points from the boot of Dean Rock put the northsiders out of sight while Derek Byrne was equally potent, notching 2-3 from play against his old club, to add serious championship credentials to Paul Curran's side.

An opening 10-minute blitz saw the Mun move six clear as Byrne jinked past his younger brother, Tower's corner-back Niall, to open the scoring with a clever point.



Lorded

Rock slotted over three frees while the forward line were spoiled for possession (but also kicked six wides early on) as Davy Byrne and Brian McCullagh lorded midfield.

At the other end, Tower's were starved of chances and it took 13 minutes before Dave Whelan's first effort sailed over the bar.

The score was quickly erased when Eddie Christie flicked the ball onto to Byrne who struck low into the net for the opening goal.

Dublin minor centre-back, John Small, produced the pass of the game finding Christie lurking in the goal mouth and the corner-forward made no mistake in turning and rattling the ball to the net after 22 minutes.

Rock and Byrne raised two more white flags to put Ballymun into a commanding 2-11 to 0-2 interval lead.

Tower's began the second half with greater purpose and Liam Connolly opened their account with a fine point.

However, the chasm between the sides on the night was clear as Rock continued an exhibition of place kicking, converting free after free.

The final nail was fired by Derek Byrne, who blocked a Simon Owens clearance before racing on to hammer the ball into the Clondalkin goal.

As the clock wound down, centre-back Karl Connolly roamed forward and unleashed a powerful 20-metre drive into the bottom left corner to rubber-stamp victory.

"I think we played well but we can be better to be honest. We're into a quarter-final and that's about it," said Ballymun boss Curran after the game.

Ballymun fielded without the injured duo of Dublin senior James McCarthy and James Burke, but both are expected to be fit for their quarter-final as they hope to extend their quest for their first Dublin SFC since 1985.