Boland blasts Dublin into semi with Cats

Ronan Mac Lochlainn


DUBLIN swept into the semi-finals of the Electric Ireland Leinster MHC following a facile 33-point win over an overwhelmed Carlow at Dr Cullen Park last Saturday.

A lively start which included points from James Roche and Paul Winters provided the perfect antidote for the lethargy prevalent in last week’s loss to Wexford and there was a sharpness and accuracy that augurs well for when the championship resumes after the Leaving Certificate.

One player to improve immeasurably from the previous week was Cian Boland, whose redeployment at full-forward gave the St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh clubman a greater scoring threat and he rewarded that selection with 2-3.

Other positional switches worked equally well with Cormac Costello oozing class from centrefield while Seán McClelland revelled at wing-back, placing the shackles of Carlow senior Marty Kavanagh to telling effect.

After Boland had landed two quickfire points, Dublin’s progression was effectively settled by the end of the first quarter when Oisín O’Rorke received a pass from Boland and shot emphatically across Jack Barron to hand his side a 1-6 to 0-0 lead.

A second goal arrived five minutes later when Boland was clinical when put through on goal by Roche and a string of points from Costello, Conor McHugh and Winters pushed Dublin into a 2-11 to 0-2 interval lead.

The second-half mirrored the one-sided nature of the opening period with Carlow’s third and final score coming from a Kavanagh placed ball in the 36th minute as Dublin’s defence dominated the aerial exchanges with Na Fianna’s Shane Barrett excelling on his first competitive start at this level.

At the opposite end, Dublin added to their tally as Boland struck a third goal in the 41st minute after strong play from sub AJ Murphy with the latter and Eoghan Ó Conghaile sharing six points in impressive cameos from the bench. The provincial semi-final pairings will see Dublin face Kilkenny and Wexford face Laois.

SCORERS - Dublin: P Winters 1-7 (0-5f), C Boland 2-3, O O’Rorke 1-1, J Roche, AJ Murphy, E Ó Conghaile 0-3, C Costello 0-2, C McHugh, K O'Flynn 0-1 each. Carlow: M Kavanagh 0-3 (3f).

DUBLIN: C Mac Gabhann; S Barrett, C O’Callaghan, R Tierney; T Devlin, R Murphy, S McClelland; C Costello, K O’Flynn; P Winters, C Conway, C McHugh; O O’Rorke, C Boland, J Roche. Subs: E O'Donnell for Devlin (17), C Bennett for Conway (22), AJ Murphy for O’Rorke (34), E Ó Conghaile for Boland (44), E Smith for Costello (52).

CARLOW: J Barron; P Doran, J Cox, M Malone; B Nolan, D Byrne, M O'Grady; C Fenlon, D Wall; M Kavanagh, P Shaw, J Doyle; M Walsh, A Gleeson, J Kavanagh. Subs: J Murphy for Walsh (half-time), J Shinnors for Shaw (39), J Byrne for Wall (44), E O'Hara for Doran (50), J Whelan for J Kavanagh (56).

REF: E Kinsella (Laois).

MAN OF THE MATCH: Cian Boland (Dublin).