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Christie's cubs edge out Limerick challenge

Dublin's preparations for the defence of their Leinster MFC title began in earnest last Saturday afternoon as a combined selection opened up their Leinster MFL campaign with a victory over Limerick in Belfield by 3-12 to 2-7.

With Dublin manager Paddy Christie asked to submit two teams from the county, resources were stretched to a a degree but the Ballymun Kickhams clubman would have been pleased with the effort and application of his charges as they impressed sporadically against the Treaty County.

The foundation for their victory lay in the solidity of their defence with Darren Byrne from Raheny impressing with a strong showing at centre-half back.

At the opposite end of the field, Callum Pearson showed extremely well in the Dublin attack with the Kilmacud Crokes front-man offering a constant threat as the experimental selection looked to lay down some individual and collective markers ahead of an intriguing summer programme.

"First and foremost, it was nice to get out and play the match in fairly decent conditions as most of the games that we have played over the past few weeks have not been in the ideal of conditions," said Christie.

"The Leinster Minor Football League is a great opportunity for us to have a look at the depth that we have in our panel and by fielding two teams, it gives us a chance to run the rule over the panel in a competitive environment.

"Limerick are a decent team but by winning on Saturday, it puts us in a good position for next weekend when we come up against some of our provincial rivals (Kildare and Offaly).

"Because we have two teams in the league, we have been able to bring in some of the Dublin under-17 players and that experience should be very positive for their development and we as a management team will have a greater idea as to their strengths and weaknesses when we see them in action against players of decent calibre," said Christie.

If Byrne and Pearson were two players to shine over the hour for Dublin, then Christie would also been pleased to have witnessed to continued improvement of Kilamcud's Conor Kelly while another player to show well for the Dubs was Stephen Smith from Skerries Harps.

The Dublin team in this group face Offaly this Saturday afternoon in Páirc Ciceam, Ballymun Kickhams (2.30).