DUBLIN 6-16 DUBS STARS 1-6
Dublin continued their preparations for their upcoming O'Byrne Cup campaign with a comprehensive 25-point victory over the Dubs Stars in their annual Dublin Bus/Herald challenge match on the Monastery Road Clondalkin on Tuesday evening.
It became apparent from an early stage that late defections from an already threadbare Dubs Stars panel would affect the competitiveness on show and so it proved as the Dubs assumed complete control from the opening whistle.
An excellent point by full-forward Ciarán Reddin opened the scoring inside the first minute before Paul Mannion reaffirmed his undoubted potential when claiming 2-3 from play in the ensuing seven minutes.
His first goal arrived in the second minute as he powered a shot inside Sean Currie's right-hand upright before Ciarán Kilkenny's fine pass two minutes later allowed Mannion to deliver more finesse to his finish with a controlled shot under the advancing goalkeeper.
Three crisp points followed as Dublin drove incessantly towards their opponents' goal as the shock from that opening blitz naturally affected the initial confidence of the Dubs Stars outfit.
However, with Davey Byrne consistently securing possession and using the ball intelligently with a series of well-placed passes, the Dubs Stars gradually began to make advances into enemy territory and they eventually opened their account through a Tomás Quinn free in the 13th minute.
Despite coming under sporadic pressure, there were encouraging signs in the display of Michael Fitzsimons at centre-back for Dublin and his attacking colleagues were making their mark with Reddin netting again at the end of the first quarter.
Mannion turned provider in the 16th minute when supplying Conor Walsh for a smartly-taken goal and the slick interplay of the Dublin unit was reflected in a superb team score from Jason Whelan four minutes later.
After Mannion and Ryan Basquel had exchanged points as the half progressed, Dublin reaffirmed their ascendancy to finish with a string of successive scores from Reddin, Jack McCaffrey and Walsh, enjoying a 4-9 to 0-2 advantage at the interval.
Any team missing the likes of Dean Rock, Diarmuid Connolly, Kevin McManamon, James McCarthy and Ross McConnell among others was always likely to struggle, but the Dubs Stars improved immeasurably upon the restart despite conceding the opening score of the half to Dublin substitute Paul Hudson.
The Dubs Stars added three unanswered points through Quinn, Basquel and local player Eric Finn, but any momentum generated by those scores was punctured as last year's man of the match, Hudson, netted confidently in the 37th minute.
The intricate forward play that brought St Vincent's the Dublin and Leinster club titles was on show four minutes later as Ciarán Dorney delivered a sublime pass into the path of Quinn, who finished beyond replacement goalkeeper Gary Cleary with his customary aplomb.
Once again, Dublin responded in kind with Philly Ryan goaling from close range and despite taking their foot off the accelerator for the conclusion of affairs, the Dubs stretched their advantage through late points by Hudson, Mannion, Ryan and substitute Darragh Nelson.