Madden sets tone as Dubs give Louth final lesson
Dublin 2-19 Louth 0-12
Dublin ended a three-year 'barren' period when claiming the Leinster MFC title for the 33rd time with a 13-point victory over Louth in the curtain-raiser at Croke Park yesterday.
Dublin controlled matters from the opening whistle, with Ross McGarry's point in the first minute signalling of what was to come and the corner-forward added to his tally with a well-taken score four minutes later.
Despite John Gallagher opening Louth's account with a sublime point a minute later, their challenge suffered a brace of body blows soon after as the Dubs - who dumped out last year's champions Kildare in the semi-final - gained tangible reward for an enterprising start.
Their first goal arrived far too easily, as James Madden was afforded too much time and space to rifle home from close range in the seventh minute. From the kick-out, Dublin easily gained possession, with James Doran the beneficiary on this occasion as he out-paced the Louth defence before firing high past Alan McGauley.
Despite these setbacks, Louth responded well, with a brace of Ciarán Keenan frees helping to settle matters. A Fergal Malone point offered further hope of a resurgence as the youngsters from the capital became increasingly sloppy with the generous amounts of possession that they enjoyed.
This was reflected in a barren period of 12 minutes that eventually ended with a David Lacey '45' in the 21st minute. Lacey kicked three more scores before the break to re-affirm Dublin's focus in attack.
Full-forward Seán Hawkshaw was also prominent during this period and his two scores and another from wing-back Eoin O'Dea pushed Dublin 2-11 to 0-5 ahead by the break.
The second half lacked the intensity of the opening period, with Dublin happy to hold what they had. Louth pushed up with greater numbers, but without any great confidence of launching an unlikely comeback.
A stalemate of sorts ensued, with O'Dea adding to his tally early in the second-half and the bulk of Louth's replies arriving through placed balls from Gallagher and Keenan.
The Dubs emptied the bench and would be pleased that Luke Doran, Ciaran Archer and Adam Byrne all added points in the final quarter as they eased home.
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).
Ref - Patrick Maguire (Longford)