Dubs cubs cruise to Leinster glory
Dublin 2-19 Louth 0-12
Dublin claimed their 33rd provincial title when overcoming Louth by 13 points in their Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship Final at Croke Park yesterday afternoon.
Both teams had impressed in their respective semi-final wins over Kildare and Wexford respectively but as a contest, this was as one-sided as the scoreline would suggest with Dublin controlling matters from the outset with most of the damage done in the first-half in which Louth were fortunate in some respects to trail by just twelve points by the break.
There was much to admire in the manner that Dublin opened up, betraying any signs of nerves as they hit the ground running through a first minute point from Ross McGarry.
The Ballyboden St Enda's player doubled his tally four minutes later as Dublin found massive amounts of space in attack with their movement off the ball causing numerous headaches for the Louth defence.
Despite John Gallagher opening Louth's account with a cracking point in the sixth minute, it was evident from the outset that Dublin's control around the middle third would prove telling.
The wide, open expanses of Croke Park can be a particularly lonely and unforgiving place and so it proved for Louth, who looked powerless to prevent Dublin from securing possession at will.
The underdogs suffered a double body blow with the concession of two goals inside 60 seconds after seven minutes and their challenge wilted from that point as Dublin monopolised possession around the middle third.
The first Dublin goal arrived through James Madden, who was afforded far too much space to fire a low shot to the right-hand corner of Alan McGauley's net.
McGauley was one again blameless a minute later as James Doran gained possession 40 metres from goal and set off on a jinking run that culminated in a rising shot to the roof of McGauley's net.
Even from that juncture, it was evident that Louth's exercise would be one of damage limitation and they responded encouragingly through a brace of frees by Ciarán Keenan and a fine score from play by Fearghal Malone.
The Dubs lost their collective way either side of the first quarter, going 12 minutes without a score but they regained their equilibrium for the last ten minutes of the half as David Lacey and Seán Hawkshaw shared six points to push their side 2-11 to 0-5 clear at the break.
Dublin lacked a degree of urgency upon the restart, content to maintain a decent lead and assess their options from the bench as a limited Louth gained reward for an improved showing through the frees of Gallagher and Keenan, scores of mere consolation value by the final whistle.
Scorers - Dublin: J Doran 1-1, D Lacey 0-4 (0-1f, 0-1 '45'), J Madden 1-0, R McGarry 0-3, E O'Dea, C Archer (0-1f), S Hawkshaw 0-2 each, K Kennedy, M Tracey, D Brennan, L Doran, A Byrne 0-1 each. Louth: J Gallagher (0-3f, 0-1 '45), C Keenan (0-5f) 0-5 each, F Malone, L Jackson 0-1 each.
Dublin: D O'Hanlon; D Maher, P Ó Cofaigh Byrne, L Flatman; K Kennedy, N Matthews, E O'Dea; M Tracey, D Ryan; D Brennan, J Doran, J Madden; R McGarry, S Hawkshaw, D Lacey. Subs: A Byrne for Brennan (38), C Archer for Lacey (48), A Lynch for Maher (51), L Doran for O'Dea (55), K Lynch Bissett for Tracey (56), E Joyce for Hawkshaw (58).
Louth: A McGauley; A Connor, P Trainor, D Corcoran; L Grey, E Callaghan, J O'Reilly; L Jackson, C Morgan; G Garland, C Gillespie, F Malone; B Mooney, C Keenan, J Gallagher. Subs: A Molloy for McGauley (21), C Nicholson for Malone (half-time), S Hickey for Morgan (37), S Byrne for Gillespie (50), K O'Neill for Garland (51), D McGreehan for Grey (57).
Referee: Patrick Maguire (Longford).