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Minor Dubs eye major success

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Dublin's Clyde Burke. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Dublin's Clyde Burke. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Dublin's Clyde Burke. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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The past few years have been rocky for the Dublin minor footballers and last month’s win over Kildare represented the Capital’s first provincial success since 2017.

Yet there is a sense that the Metropolitans might be at last on the verge of something big and they begin their All-Ireland series this Sunday when they take on Galway in the quarter-finals in Tullamore.

Post Covid, Dublin – managed by David Reynolds – have gone through the Leinster group stages relatively untested, registering an impressive 9-43 over the course of three games.

In their most recent match at Parnell Park they had nine points to spare over Offaly in their Leinster semi-final game, played in the middle of last month.

Aside from a rather bumpy patch in the first half when Offaly midfielder Cillian Bourke claimed a number of possessions in the midfield, Dublin were for the most part in control.

A point from Tim Deering (Skerries Harps) would have a settling effect on Dublin who, having led by 1-5 to 0-2 at the break, pushed on after Offaly lost dual player Shane Rigney to a black card early in the second half.

 Crucially, in that 10-minute spell when they had the extra man, Dublin registered scores from their two midfielders Dylan Clarke and Nathan Fitzgerald along with a free from Joe Quigley.

And while Offaly would briefly get themselves back into contention with a goal mid-way through the half, Dublin showed great maturity to close out the game with some composed shooting.

They produced another fine second half against Kildare in the final in Portlaoise where the introduction of vice captain Clyde Burke (St Patrick’s Donabate) had a big bearing on the game as Dublin overturned a one-point deficit at half-time to beat the Lillywhites by double scores – 2-10 to 0-8.

Kildare will point to an unsuccessful penalty claim when forward Eoin Cully was toppled by the Dublin keeper at a stage when they only trailed by four points.

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Regardless, Dublin pressed on and the surging runs of Burke (pictured left) proved pivotal as they put the game to bed with a Luke O’Boyle goal two minutes from time.

On Sunday afternoon Dublin will face a Galway team looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat to Mayo in Monday night’s Connacht final, when Mayo corner forward Niall Hurley kicked the Westerners to a 0-13 to 0-7 win.

Galway, having trailed by four points at the break, briefly got back into contention following two points from centre-back Cillian Trayers, before Mayo took control once more to book a quarter-final spot against Kildare. The other quarter-finals are on Saturday afternoon as Tyrone take on Kerry and Cork face Derry in a double header, to be played in Portlaoise. 

Meanwhile, the Dublin duo of Luke Breathnach and Adam Waddick have made this year’s EirGrid 20 U20 list, while Skerries Harps man Greg McEneaney can count himself unfortunate not have made the final selection after some terrific displays at centre-back.


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