Friday 18 August 2017

Dublin revolution continues as rampant U21s march on

DUBLIN'S under 21s made it an All-Ireland hurling final double for the county when they cruised to a one-sided victory over Antrim in Newry.

Hot on the heels of their minor semi-final win last week, Johnny McEvoy's side secured another big day out for Dublin hurling but will have learned little here after Antrim struggled to offer any real resistance

Dublin got off to a dream start in the first minute when centre-forward and senior football panellist Mark Schutte drilled a brilliant shot into the top corner of the Antrim net.

After 16 minutes, the Dubs were 1-5 to 0-2 in front with Martin Quilty dominant in defence, Danny Sutcliffe prominent in midfield and the roving Kevin O'Loughlin causing serious problems in attack.

Dublin could have been out of sight but they blazed eight wides in that first half and had a Seán McGrath goal drive well saved by Antrim 'keeper Eoin Gillan. A rasping Niall McMorrow shot also crashed back off the crossbar. The Leinster champs went seven minutes without scoring before a flurry of excellent scores from O'Loughlin and Schutte got them back on track. Physically, the sides were well matched, but Dublin were far sharper and were well worth their 1-9 to 0-4 interval lead.

The Dubs finished sluggishly but exploded with 1-3 in three minutes -- the goal coming just 20 seconds after the restart with Schutte setting up Eamonn Dillon for a shot well saved by Gillan but flicked to the net by Seán McGrath.

That score opened the floodgates as Dublin reeled off 10 points before Paddy McNaughton replied for Antrim in the 49th minute. Michael Armstrong fought hard for Antrim but the Dubs could afford to take off senior star Liam Rushe long before the finish as they cruised into their first under 21 final since 2007.

Scorers: Dublin -- K O'Loughlin 0-6 (4f, 1 sl), M Schutte 1-3, S McGrath 1-1, B Quinn 1-0, N McMorrow, D Plunkett, E Dillon 0-3 each, T Connolly, O Maoileidigh, D Curran, C Gough 0-1 each.

Antrim: C McCann 0-3 (fs), P McNaughton, J Black, M Devlin 0-1 each)

Dublin: G McManus; B O'Carroll, D Kelly, J Doughan; D Curran, L Rushe, M Quilty; C Gough, D Sutcliffe; D Plunkett, M Schutte, N McMorrow; K O'Loughlin, S McGrath, E Dillon. Subs: F Clabby for O'Carroll (42), T Connolly for O'Loughlin (45, inj), S O'Connor for Sutcliffe (48), O O Maoileidigh for McGrath (49), B Quinn for Rushe (53).

Antrim: E Gillan; T McAllister, K McKiernan, C O'Loughlin; P McKeague, M Armstrong, N Cunningham; C Laverty, P McNaughton; J Black, M Devlin, T McCloskey; D McLean, C McCann, S Smyth. Subs: C Gillan for M Devlin (33), A Downey for McKeague (46), B Curran for Laverty (56).

Referee: F Smyth (Meath)

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