HOPES of a few more Fingal players breaking into the Dublin set-up under new manager Jim Gavin received a boost on Sunday as local clubs were heavily represented in an exhibition match against Louth in Drogheda.
Gavin wasn't present himself, perhaps feeling his time would be better utilised at the senior championship semi-finals in Parnell Park, but his deputy for the day Mick Bohan will have no doubt returned with a glowing report. Dublin were always in control of the contest, opening up a 0-4 to 01 lead before Louth's Ciaran Byrne levelled matters with a fortuitous goal, but two strikes at the other end in the lead up to half-time ensured Dublin retired with a commanding 2-8 to 1-3 lead at the interval.
Ciaran Reddin (St Maur's), Harry Dawson (Skerries Harps) and Niall Collins (Pat's Donabate) were all prominent with the latter scoring two points and setting up a goal for Robbie McCarthy, who netted both first-half goals for the Sky Blues. Maur's Danny Byrne also started on the opposite wing to his clubmate Reddin, while Skerries Jack Smith lined out at corner back, with Darren Daly at centre-half back. Bohan rang the changes at half time as two more Maur's men got the nod, Vinnie Whelan in goals and Christy Carthy, who helped himself to two points. Donabate's Dean Styles also got a run in the second period which wasn't as straightforward for the visitors as Louth staged a spirited comeback in the final quarter. However, the result was never really in doubt, with the hosts' third goal coming from the penalty spot in injury-time.
DUBLIN: Michael Savage; Jack Smith, Barry O'Hanlon, Michael Concarr; Declan Lally, Darren Daly, Nicky Devereux; Craig Dunleavy, Daithi Murphy; Ciaran Reddin 0-3, Conor Walsh 0-3, Daniel Byrne, Niall Collins 0-3, Robbie McCarthy 2-1, Harry Dawson 0-3. Subs used: Chris Carthy 0-2, Vinnie Whelan, Luke Sweetman, Hugh Gill 0-2, Dean Styles, Jonathan McDermott. LOUTH: Joe Flanagan; Gerard Hoey, Conor McGuinness, Jamie Carr; Stephen Moonan, Liam Shevlin, Conor Rafferty 0-1; John Kermode, Decaln Byrne; James Murray, Jim McEneaney 1-2 (0-2 '45'), Cathal Bellew; Ciaran Byrne 1-2, Shane Lennon 0-4f, Paraic Smith. Subs used: Mick Fanning, Ruairi Moore 0-1, Brian White 1-0, Neil Gallagher, Jason Clarke, David McComish. REFEREE: Cormac Reilly (Meath).