Dublin 5-21 Louth 0-10
If there was ever a game where the GAA should look at by a means of revamping the championship well this is it. Dublin playing in second gear eased to a 5-21 to 0-10, 26 points win over Louth at Portlaoise on Saturday. Dublin will now they will face stiffer challenges over the summer of course, while for Louth it’s the qualifiers.
Louth got the first score of the game, the only time they actually were ahead in the game through Ryan Burns. However, you just felt Dublin were going to click and they did as Cormac Costello kicked three and a 45 in quick succession, while James McCarthy, Paul Mannion, and Ciaran Kilkenny all raised white flags. The reigning four in a row champions led by 0-06 to 0-01 after 19 minutes of play. Dublin had a chance for a goal but Costello’s shot went wide, Andy McDonnell registered a point for Louth. Burns had the gap to four, but Con O’Callaghan bundled the ball to the net to give Dublin a healthy lead. Dublin were reduced to 14 men on 25 minutes after Kilmacud Crokes man Paul Mannion was sent off after a poor tackle on Conall McKeever. Costello converted a couple more frees to make it a nine-point game with 28 minutes played. Jim McEnaney got a much-needed Louth point and the score was 1-09 to 0-03. Costello kicked two frees in a row, his seventh and eight points of the opening half. He would kick his ninth on the stroke of half time as Dublin took in a 1-12 to 0-04 lead.
Costello started where he left off on the resumption kicking his tenth point of the night. He would kick his eleventh score of the night then after his free came back off the post before he converted. Brian Fenton got the second Dublin goal on 39 minutes and things were going to get worse for Louth as Jim Gavin brought on Michael Dara McAuley and Philly McMahon. Niall Scully kicked a point before Jim McEnaney kicked the Wee County’s first of the half. Rory O’Carroll was greeted with a massive cheer as he was then introduced. McAuley netted Dublin’s third goal on 49 minutes after he palmed to the net. Costello kicked a free before he scored a goal of his own, 4-16 t0 0-05 with 55 minutes played. Ciaran Downey and Ryan Burns registered points on the board for Louth, Ciaran Kilkenny responded with a nice effort on 60 minutes. McMahon got Dublin’s fifth goal and the margin was out to 24 points. Paddy Small kicked a fantastic point off his left boots before McMenamon kicked a free. McKeever got a nice point for Louth, before Kilkenny and Fitzsimons responded, Ryan Burns, kicked the last score of the game. Dublin ran out easy winners and they will face either Kildare or Longford in the semi-finals on June 9th.
Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; David Byrne, Cian O’Sullivan, Michael Fitzsimons (0-1); Jack McCaffrey, John Small, James McCarthy; Brian Fenton (1-1), Darren Gavin; Niall Scully (0-2), Ciaran Kilkenny (0-1), Brian Howard; Paul Mannion (0-2), Con O’Callaghan, Cormac Costello (1-12, 10f, 1 ‘45’). Subs: Michael Darragh MacAuley (1-0) for Gavin (40mins), Phillip McMahon (1-0) for O’Sullivan (40), Rory O’Carroll for McCaffrey (47), Paddy Small (0-1) for O’Callaghan (47), Kevin McManamon (0-1, 1f) for Scully (54), Sean Bugler for Costello (63).
Louth: Fergal Sheekey; Fergal Donohoe, Emmet Carolan, James Craven; Anthony Williams, Bevan Duffy, John Clutterbuck; Tommy Durnin, James Califf; Andy McDonnell (0-1), Jim McEneaney (0-2), Conall McKeever (0-1); Ciaran Downey (0-1) Ryan Burns (0-4, 2f), Declan Byrne. Subs: Dan Corcoran for Donohoe (HT), Sam Mulroy for Byrne (HT), Conor Early for Califf (43mins), Derek Maguire for Clutterbuck (46), Eoghan Callaghan (0-1) for Craven (54, BC), Eoghan Duffy for McEneaney (60).