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Royals fail English exam as Dubs Cubs progress to decider

Dublin secured their place in the final of the Gerry Reilly under-16 Intercounty Football Tournament when comfortably getting the better of near neighbours Meath by 3-15 to 0-7 in Oldcastle last Sunday teatime.

The Dubs, who enjoyed equally impressive Group B wins over Louth and Westmeath in recent weeks in this tournament, proved far too strong for the hosts with their ability to plunder scores at regular intervals proving too much for a Meath team whose strength was diluted as the Royal County operated a split panel with another team represented in Group A.

That Meath were put in that position was down to Armagh pulling out prior to the tournament's opening games and they were definitely weakened and as a consequence as Dublin pulled away in the second-half to register a 17-point victory.


Once again, it was Richie English from St Jude's that took the scoring honours with the intelligent attacker accruing 2-6 over the hour with all but three points coming from open play.

English was one of the main beneficiaries of a towering midfield display by Naomh Mearnóg's Karl Bissett, whose influential performance landed him a deserved Man of the Match award.

The Dubs got off to a perfect start when English netted inside just 12 seconds with the hosts staying in contention through a brace of points from Tom Fadden.

However, it was the visitors who were far more fluent initially and they increased their lead through an English free and a Ross McGarry score as they entered the break with a five point advantage (1-6 to 0-4).

Although Fadden trimmed Meath's arrears upon the resumption, Dublin began to turn their possession into valuable scores with English, James Doran and Bissett landing points to leave the hosts with a mountain to climb.

With Meath throwing caution to the wind as they looked to salvage their final hopes, the Dubs took full advantage of gaps in the home defence with McGarry (from the penalty spot) and English adding goals in the final quarter to secure the win.

Dublin's reward for their three successive wins is a place in the decider against a highly-rated Cavan team that booked its final berth after defeating Meath's other team by 2-16 to 1-8 later on Sunday evening.

Cavan, who won the title last summer, enjoyed a massive 1-9 to 0-2 lead at one stage but Meath drove forward in the second-half and with a slice of luck on their side, could well have made like trickier for the Breffni County in the closing stages.

The date for the final is Sunday July 26 in Millbrook, Oldcastle, Meath.

Scorers - Dublin: R English 2-6 (0-3f), R McGarry 1-1, K Bissett 0-2, N Matthews (f), N O'Dea, L Doran, J Doran, N O'Leary, S Hawkshaw 0-1 each. Meath: T Fadden 0-3 (0-2f), C Aherne 0-2, P Conway, S Blackwell 0-1 each.

Dublin: David O'Hanlon; Dara O'Boyle, Liam Flatman, Ruairí Kerins; Luke Walsh, Neil Mathews, Eoin O'Dea; Luke Doran, Karl Bissett; Emmet Allen, James Doran, Niall O'Leary; Daniel Brennan, Ross McGarry, Richie English. Subs: Seán Hawshaw, James Madden, Ryan Meeney, Andrew Doolin, Rian Fitzsimons, Conor Carberry.

Meath: Seán Hogan; Jacob Ryan, Oisin Ginnity, Eoin Doogan; Sam Reynolds,Andrew Gerrard, Jack McNally; Josh McCloskey, Frank Carty; Paddy Conway, Conal Aherne, Joseph Donnelly; Tom Fadden, Franky Cullen. Subs: Conor Heffernan, Leigh Sullivan, Robert Wogan, Sean Blackwell, Alan Wall, Jake McGovern, Keith Connell, Mikey Mullen.

Ref: Noel Hand (Louth)

Winners of the Gerry Reilly Cup

Westmeath: 1990, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2010, 2011

Meath: 1989, 1991, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2003, 2007

Dublin: 1993, 1998, 2008 (U17 Blitz), 2012, 2013

Cavan: 1997, 2004, 2006, 2014