Dublin on the double as Treacy brace inspires comeback win
Dublin 2-15 Offaly 1-10
Sean Treacy's second-half brace proved crucial as Dublin came from behind to defeat Offaly in convincing fashion and make it a Leinster minor/U-21 double in quick succession at O'Connor Park, Tullamore last night.
Dublin's interest in the race for Liam MacCarthy may have ended on Saturday night but their U-21s gave them a timely boost with Treacy, younger brother of senior star David, and Andrew Jamieson Murphy on fire in the closing 30 minutes as they overcame a 1-6 to 0-5 half-time deficit.
The Cuala attacker finished with 2-2 while Jamieson-Murphy hit 0-4 as they overpowered a gallant Offaly effort, outscoring the home side 2-10 to 0-4. Joe Fortune's side ended Wexford's four-in-a-row charge in the quarter-finals and their class was evident when it mattered most.
Offaly, chasing their first provincial crown at any grade since 2000, had the better of the early exchanges in and buoyed by Oisin Kelly's 14th-minute penalty, they led by four at the break but they hit just one point from play in the second half as the Dubs pulled away in fine style. It was a real game of two halves as Dublin only got into their stride in the second period but ended up winning pulling up to claim the Sean Robbins Cup for the sixth time in their history, cementing the victory of their minor hurlers win last Sunday.
Offaly started the brighter through Dylan Murray (free) and Johnny O'Toole-Greene before senior star Chris Bennett, who was well marshalled by Ben Conneely before being substituted, levelled with two frees.
Liam Dunphy and James McGrath's side were given a huge boost when Kelly rifled to the net after Emmet Nolan was hauled down en route to goal. Their dander was up in front of an attendance of 4,709 as they stretched five ahead through a Conor Doughan long-range free and Murray's first from play.
The Dubs were struggling for traction in attack and another Bennett free and a fine point from centre-back Cian Mac Gabhainn, who strode forward to collect a sideline cut from Jamieson Murphy, was their only score from play in the opening half.
Offaly finished with a real purpose through two brilliant points from Nolan, who caused trouble throughout, but a Bennett '65 narrowed the gap and kept them in touch at the break.
Dublin were level within 90 seconds of the restart, however, as the excellent Jamieson Murphy pointed from the throw-in before Treacy brilliantly fired past Offaly 'keeper Eoghan Cahill.
Conneely prevented another goal in the next play when flicking the ball clear and Offaly settled somewhat with Murray accurate from two placed balls. Jamieson Murphy responded with a point before Treacy hit a sucker punch, or in this case boot, when kicking to the net after a brilliant catch as they lead for the first time, 2-7 to 1-8.
Murray responded with a free but the Dubs, with sub Cian Boland influential in the middle third, took complete control through Jamieson Murphy and two from Treacy (one free, one '65) while half-back Jake Malone fired over two super scores.
A Kelly effort whizzed across the face of goal as Offaly chased scores but a side who hit a combined 10-38 in wins over Kildare and Carlow could only muster a Liam Langton point.
Dublin were not for catching and points from Jamieson-Murphy, Rian McBride and Seán Ó Riain sealed a dominant win for the Dubs, who meet Galway in the last four next month.
SCORERS - Dublin: S Treacy 2-2 (1f and 0-1 '65), A Jamieson Murphy and C Bennett (3f, 0-1 '65) 0-4 each, J Malone 0-2, C Mac Gabhainn, S Ó Riain and R McBride 0-1 each. Offaly: D Murray 0-5 (4f), O Kelly 1-0 (pen), E Nolan 0-2, C Doughan (f), L Langton and J O'Toole-Greene 0-1.
DUBLIN - J Treacy; J Madden, E O'Donnell, C Hendricken; S Barrett, C Mac Gabhainn, J Malone; J Bellew, M McCallion; A Jamieson-Murphy, R McBride, E Conroy; S Treacy, S Ó Riain, C Bennett. Subs: C Boland for M McCallion (24), C O'Neill for C Bennett (44), P O'Dea for C Henricken (52), F Ó Riain Broin for J Malone (56), E McHugh for E Conroy (57).
OFFALY - E Cahill; D Healy, D O'Toole-Greene, P Delaney; C Doughan, B Conneely, D Doughan; D Wyer, P Guinan; J O'Toole-Greene, D Murray, R Hughes; A Cleary, O Kelly, E Nolan. Subs: C O'Brien for D Healy inj (19), C Freeman for A Cleary (44), JP Cleary for R Hughes (52), L Langton for D Wyer (54), E Parlon for P Guinan (62).
REF - A Devine (Westmeath)