Rowan the hat-trick hero as U16 footballers get past tricky Louth
Dublin made a winning start to the Gerry Reilly U16 Intercounty Football Tournament as they overcame Louth by 4-14 to 2-6 at Parnell Park last Sunday morning.
The scoreline may sound comprehensive enough but the Dubs struggled to gain primary possession for large parts against a Louth team that dominated the midfield sector for the majority of the game.
Eric Rowan proved the scorer-in-chief for the hosts, with the Thomas Davis attacker netting on three occasions and he was ably abetted in the inside-forward line by Michael Courtney, who kicked five points from play over the hour.
Courtney's contribution ensured a deserved man-of-the-match award while Jack Rowe was another to shine in attack as Dublin gained full reward on the possession that did come their way.
Further down the field, Dan O'Brien (Kilmacud Crokes), Rob Shaw (Castleknock) and James Holland (Ballyboden St Enda's) all showed well for a Dublin team that enjoyed a flattering 2-8 to 1-3 interval lead.
A powerful, athletic Louth side responded well after the break but were denied a route back thanks to a superb save from Evan Comerford of Ballymun Kickhams while Tom Keane was on the end of a fine team move to put further daylight between the sides as the half evolved.
Rowan's third goal effectively settled the contest but Dublin will be well aware of the need for improvement as they continue their development in coming weeks.
Their next encounter will come in Oldcastle against a strong Westmeath team that registered an emphatic 3-13 to 4-2 win over Meath last weekend.
Dublin: Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams); Nathan Nolan (Kilmacud Crokes), Rob Shaw (Castleknock), Darragh McKenna (St Brigid's); Dan O'Brien (Kilmacud Crokes), James Holland (Ballyboden St Enda's), Keith Sweeney (Ballyboden St Enda's), Seán Gibbons (Castleknock), Aaron Bradshaw (Ballinteer St John's); Cormac Howley (Round Tower, Lusk), Kevin Lillis (Clontarf), Jack Rowe (Trinity Gaels); Tom Keane (Naomh Olaf), Michael Courtney (St Brigid's), Eric Rowan (Thomas Davis).
Subs: Bryn Redmond (St Sylvester's) for Sweeney (half-time), Conor Ryan (St Vincent's) for Gibbons (half-time), Conor Hynes (St Peregrine's) for Lillis (38), Seán Bugler (St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh) for Rowe (46), Aaron Duffy (Round Tower, Lusk) for Nolan (48), Mikey Dunne (Ballyboden St Enda's) for Rowan (49).
SCORERS - Dublin: Eric Rowan 3-1, Michael Courtney 0-7 (0-2f), Cormac Howley 0-3, Tom Keane 1-0, Jack Rowe 0-2, Dan O'Brien 0-1.