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Seven-up Dubs win Star war

NO photo finish on the Blakestown Road yesterday. The writing was on the wind as early as the 25th minute when Barry Connolly of the Dubs Stars went for goal from a free.

They needed it and others already at that juncture as the Dubs blitzed the Stars from the first whistle on their way to a 26-point victory (7-13 to 0-8).

Barry's father, Joe, the Galway legend, was in the audience. The seated stand - the only one in the county outside of Parnell Park, filled up sharpish.

The hosts, St Peregrine's, were blessed with the weather. The sun even came out. They deserved the kindly roll of the sliotar.

They had put so much into the day. Stewards were at their start-of-match positions not long after the corn-flakes. Impressive stuff for New Year's morning. Peregrine's ticked every box. They even laid on an interview room for the managers. And the chocolate biscuits came straight from Jacob's.

Cement

The club are rightly proud of their progress. They are currently preparing for their first-ever minor hurling championship final. Another brick in the wall.

The Dubs Stars defence would have needed an extra layer of tar and cement to cope with the early pressure.

Dublin had three goals in the sack within the opening 14 minutes.

Dalo was in the building, but he left it to Richie to give out the after-dinner mints. "We have put in five or six hard weeks of slog and we brought in many new lads.

"They have helped to freshen things up. They brought vibrancy and enthusiasm to the display," stated Stakelum.

"Paul Ryan, with his three goals, showed a good return to form. Niall McMorrow has done a lot of work. He's always such a willing and strong player, while the likes of Johnny McCaffrey and Liam Rushe also did well."

Of the Dubs Stars, Richie singled out the contribution of Cian McBride but especially the display of Paul Schutte.

"Paul was outstanding. He looked very comfortable at full-back."

Schutte, Joey Boland and Seán McGrath were the Dubs Star diamonds. Overall, the Dubs Stars rarely troubled the Dublin gate-keepers. The closest they came to a goal was late in the first half when Ger Ennis almost profited from the slim pickings.

The first hours of 2013 also frowned when the Dubs Stars reserve goalie, Bill McCormack, had to retire with a serious looking ankle injury shortly after entering the action.

Back came the number one Matt Collins for more punishment. The Kilmacud Crokes custodian had no chance with any of the darts that flew past him.

But he did show his class just before the break when he dived low to his right to turn a McCaffrey rasper outside the post.

As they sipped their tea, Dublin led by 5-4 to 0-5, with Ryan completing his hat-trick by the 28th minute.

It was his Ballyboden colleague, Conor McCormack, who scored the second goal, with Danny Sutcliffe, drilling in the third. One of the brightest moments of the 70 minutes came from Dublin defender, Conor Murphy, who, in a tight spot, controlled the sliotar like a puppet master before clearing. The applause rang out.

The bells also sounded for McMorrow when he came on stage. He hit a pocket of points, plus a 59th minute goal.

The Ballyboden St Enda's sniper would have had another goal only for Collins showing his brilliance once more.

It was Aodhan Clabby's late strike that had everyone's thoughts once again turning to the great western. Seven-ups all-round at the post-match meal.

The Dubs next match is against Laois or UCD in the Bord na Móna Walsh Cup quarter-final on Sunday, January 27 in either Portlaoise of Parnell Park.