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Blues power past DIT as Ger Cunningham records debut win

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Michael Carton, Dublin, in action against Daryl Robets, DIT.

Michael Carton, Dublin, in action against Daryl Robets, DIT.

Michael Carton, Dublin, in action against Daryl Robets, DIT.

Dublin's life under new management started on a positive manner as they comfortably accounted for Dublin Institute of Technology by 17 points in their Bord na Móna Walsh Cup Group 2 clash at Parnell Park last night.

A more experimental line-up was perhaps expected given the nature of the competition but Dublin manager Ger Cunningham managed to find starting spots for some of his more seasoned panellists with John McCaffrey, Conal Keaney, Michael Carton and Liam Rushe featuring from the start.

The inclement weather conditions made for difficult conditions but Paul Ryan made light of the incessant rain as he landed a sublime score from under the stand to open the scoring inside 13 seconds.

His Ballyboden St Enda's club-mate Conal Keaney doubled that advantage within a minute and the same pair added to their personal tallies as Dublin stretched four points clear after five minutes.

The DIT forward line was largely living off scraps but they managed to open their own account thanks to a wonderful score by Willie McGrath from Meath.

However, it proved an isolated success, given Dublin's initial dominance at centrefield through Daire Plunkett and late addition Kevin Byrne.

Their control afforded the Dublin attack a generous supply and after Ryan had landed a '65' in the 7th minute, centre-forward Eamonn Dillon struck a brace of points within 30 seconds of each other to push the hosts six points clear.

Far from building on that platform, their play became punctuated with errors, allowing their opponents to trim their deficit following successive scores by Michael Lee, the impressive Derek McNicholas and Justin Cahill.

With Dublin's lead at a precarious one point, they gained some valuable breathing space as Dillon embarked on a trademark run through the middle in the 28th minute before applying a deft finish beyond Paddy McKenna from close range.

The half ended with Dublin reasserting their control and late scores by Niall McMorrow, Cian Boland and Ryan ensured a healthy 1-11 to 0-7 interval lead.

Dublin's lead was trimmed to just four points within three minutes of the restart as Lee arrowed a precise finish past Alan Nolan from an acute angle.

However, the Dublin response to that setback was as impressive as it was emphatic. They reeled off six points on the bounce, with Rushe and Dillon adding two scores apiece, to help restore Dublin's equilibrium.

Although McNicholas replied with two frees for DIT, the contest was effectively settled in the 51st minute as Rushe - a qualified success at full-forward - mirrored the deftness of Dillon's goal with a cheeky finish past the badly exposed McKenna.

The contest meandered to a degree from that juncture but there was still sufficient time for McMorrow to stamp his undoubted class on the match with a superb turn and finish in the 65th minute.

With DIT's efforts flagging, Dublin looked to build on that lead but despite the creation of four goal chances in the final four minutes, their sole reward was a scrappy finish from close range by substitute David Treacy ,who ended the scoring with a late point as the Dubs pulled away.

Scorers - Dublin: E Dillon 1-6 (0-1 '65), L Rushe 1-3, R Ryan 0-5 (0-2 '65', 0-1 f), N McMorrow, D Treacy 1-1 each, C Keaney 0-3, C Boland 0-1. Dublin IT: D McNicholas 0-8 (0-6f), M Lee 1-2, W McGrath, J Cahill 0-1 each.

Dublin: A Nolan, J McCaffrey, M Carton, S Barrett; B Quinn, P Kelly, S Lambert; K Byrne, D Plunkett; C Keaney, E Dillon, C Boland; N McMorrow, L Rushe, P Ryan. Subs: E O'Donnell for Plunkett (50), R O'Carroll for Byrne (54), D Treacy for Ryan (57), J Hetherton for Boland (62), F Mac Gibb for Quinn (66).

DIT: P McKenna; S Barron, B Carey, S McClelland; C Robinson, K Bergin, G Whelan; C Sheehan, J Cahill; J Sweeney, D McNicholas, A Nugent; M Lee, D Roberts, W McGrath. Subs: P Naughton for Cahill (ht), J McManus for Robinson (50), P O'Reilly for Barron (58), T Storey for Carey (60), E Hayes for Whelan (65).

Referee: Tony Carroll (Offaly)

Wides: Dublin: 9 (4+5) DIT: 10 (7+3)

Yellow: Dublin: C Keaney (6), P Kelly (45) DIT: NONE

Red: NONE

Attendance: 650 (approx.)

Man of the Match: Eamonn Dillon (Dublin)


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