Williams and Murphy seal the deal for Dublin North
DUBLIN NORTH 2-15 BIRR CS 0-12
LEINSTER COLLEGES SHC
A TWO-GOAL blast at the start of the second half secured victory for Dublin North over 14-man Birr on the all-weather pitch at Russell Park, Blanchardstown yesterday.
It's a result that is all the more pleasing for the Dubs, considering they were without a number of regulars including All-Ireland minor football finalists Ciaran Kilkenny and Cormac Costello.
The efficiency of the northside Dublin students was the decisive factor, with a hard-working Birr team guilty of shooting five poor wides early on which left them behind at the break 0-7 to 0-5, with the Dubs in control.
A fantastic save from Dubs keeper Jack Higgins denied Darragh Cleary an early goal and then, inside three minutes at the start of the second half, Graham Williams and then AJ Murphy pounced to rifle shots to the back of the Birr net.
Cleary, Sean T O'Connor and Emmet Nolan tried hard to stir a revival but the sending-off of Conor Walsh on a second yellow card in the 39th minute gave Birr an even greater mountain to climb as they attempted to reel in Dublin North.
Cian Boland, Paul Graves and Gavin Burke continued to impress for the Dubs and keep them out of danger against a Birr side who included former Offaly senior star Barry Whelahan in their management team.
SCORERS -- Dublin North: G Williams, AJ Murphy (0-1f) 1-4 each, C Boland 0-3, P Graves 0-2, C McHugh, A Rooney 0-1 each, Birr: E Nolan 0-6 (2f, 1 '65'), ST O'Connor 0-3, D Cleary 0-2, C Mulrooney 0-1.
DUBLIN NORTH -- J Higgins; C Dolan, M O'Dea, L Carey; C McDonald, G Burke, J Collins; P Graves, E Howard; K Rogers, C McHugh, A Rooney; AJ Murphy, C Boland, G Williams. Subs: C Memery for Carey (25, inj), F McGibbs for McHugh (40), M Duda for Rogers (40), M Kavanagh for Graves (50), K Hetherton for Boland (52).
BIRR -- K O'Connor; K Donovan, B Connors, C Walsh; C Fitzgerald, E Hayes, E Pilkington; E Nolan, C Mulrooney; J Molloy, C Guilfoyle, S O'Connor; ST O'Connor, K Dunne, D Cleary. Subs: P Mullins for S O'Connor (40), C Doughan for Pilkington (52), C Donnelly for Nolan (55).
Ref -- F McGreevey (Dublin)