Cian shines bright
GAA: Leinster club intermediate football championship - Dunlavin 1-11, Caulry (WH) 0-7
Dunlavin advanced to the next round of the Leinster Intermediate Football Championship following a seven-point victory against Westmeath's Caulry, in Pairc Chiarain, Athlone, on Saturday.
This was a magnificent performance from the Wicklow team, who defended very well and nullified their opponent's main threats.
Cian O'Sullivan was absolutely magnificent throughout, scoring 1-5, with all but one point from play.
Caulry were abysmal on this occasion, as they were second best throughout the game.
Kevin Maguire marked O'Sullivan for most of the second half, but Maguire was taken out of the game as a result of that and Caulry struggled for primary possession and scores.
Caulry looked to use Gary Flanagan as a target man but they struggled to do that, as Dunlavin had their homework done and dealt very well with the supply of ball he was being fed.
Caulry were heavy favourites with the bookmakers before the game, but they struggled from the start and will do likewise at senior level if this performance is replicated in next year's championship.
Caulry claimed the Intermediate championship this year and will be bitterly disappointed with this result and performance, as they are a better team than they showed on this occasion.
Dunlavin will fancy their chances of doing very well in this competition if they perform like that and they may also be a force in next year's Wicklow Senior football championship.
The Westmeath side started the game well with a point from Paddy Sleator, before Shane Carthy equalised for Dunlavin.
Two Cian O'Sullivan scores gave Dunlavin the lead, before full forward Gary Flanagan responded with a point for Caulry.
Cian O'Sullivan then scored the game's only goal in the sixth minute, finishing to the net from close range to give his side a four-point advantage, which was stretched to five following a score from Shane O'Rourke shortly after.
Points from Emmet Nally and Andy O'Sullivan reduced the deficit to three, though those points were cancelled out almost immediately following scores from Carthy and Cian O'Sullivan.
Andy O'Sullivan replied with a point for Caulry and the home side had plenty of chances before the interval, though they could not convert them into scores, as Dunlavin went into half-time with a 1-6 to 0-5 lead.
Caulry needed a strong start to the second half but it was not forthcoming, as Dunlavin scored the first four points of the half, to effectively end the game as a contest.
Cian O'Sullivan registered the first of those two points, before O'Rourke added to his personal tally after MJ Moran's initial effort was saved.
Dunlavin were cruising at this point and a further score from O'Rourke left eight between the teams, as Caulry's race was well and truly ran.
Andy O'Sullivan missed a goal chance in the 49th minute, before Adam Donoghue finally opened Caulry's second half account.
A free from O'Rourke restored Dunlavin's eight-point lead, as a late free from Conor McCormack turned out to be the last of the day, with Dunlavin cruising into the next round.
Meath champions Nobber are up next for Jonathan Daniel's side on Saturday, November 2, in Aughrim, and the Wicklow champions will be very hard beaten throughout this competition.
Scorers - Dunlavin: C O'Sullivan 1-5 (1f), S O'Rourke 0-4 (1f), S Carthy 0-2.
Caulry: A O'Sullivan 0-2, P Sleator, G Flanagan, E Nally, A Donoghue and C McCormack (1f) 0-1 each.
Dunlavin: Tom McGuirk; Daryl Huntley, Sean Phelan, Paraic Carmody; Harry Cloeborn, Mark Reid, William Kennedy; Gary Allen, Daniel Dawson; MJ Moran, Eoin Murtagh, Darragh Dillon; Cian O'Sullivan, Shane Carthy, Shane O'Rourke. Subs: Marty Caplis for Gary Allen (29), Mossy Lawlor for Moran (51), Gary Allen for Dillon (51), Fionn Deegan for Caplis (59), David Lawlor for Cloeborn (59), Alan O'Sullivan for Kennedy (60)
Caulry: Cillian Nagle; Sean Fox, Eoin Shortall, Sean Clinton; Harry Hughes, Kevin Maguire, Damien Dolan; Stephen Connolly, Neil Clinton; Emmet Nally, Conor McCormack, Colin Murphy; Paddy Sleator, Gary Flanagan, Andy O'Sullivan. Subs: Thomas Dunning for Murphy (42), Alan Daly for Sleator (43), John Maguire for Fox (47), Adam Donoghue for Nally (48), Liam Malynn for O'Sullivan (58)
Referee: David Hickey (Carlow)