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 Conor McCormack, right, Dublin, in action against Adam McGreal,  Dubs Stars. Picture: Caroline Quinn.

Conor McCormack, right, Dublin, in action against Adam McGreal, Dubs Stars. Picture: Caroline Quinn.

Conor McCormack, right, Dublin, in action against Adam McGreal, Dubs Stars. Picture: Caroline Quinn.

THE Round Tower stood tall. The Dubs Stars had a ball.

DUBS STARS 2-13 DUBLIN 0-13

 

Alan Milton was on the public address. He asked the spectators "to enjoy the spectacle".

And they were given every chance to do just that. The lights sparkled in the Clondalkin cathedral.

It was cold in the Monastery. But no need for a roof. The electric score-board lit up the evening.

A decent crowd arrived to see the Leinster champions. Anthony Daly was signing the autographs.

At one stage during the first half, Dalo and his management colleagues had time for a New Year's Eve chuckle with linesman, JC Ryan.

The host club produced a nice programme. In it, the Banner man talked about how he had admired the annual Dubs Stars occasion from afar.

"I was aware of it long before I came to Dublin. Like most people, I would have scoured the papers at that time of the year and you couldn't but notice it.

"It's a great honour for the players and the clubs. It's something different and it's not something that every county has – in fact very few have an equivalent," he said.

Dalo's opposite number on this occasion, Sean McCaffrey, led the Dubs Stars to the summit. Sean's sons, John and Matthew, were playing against each other. The Schutte brothers, Mark and Paul, lined out with Dublin.

 

Beneficial

"That was the best Dubs Stars team that I have seen since I came to Dublin," remarked the Dublin boss. "Personnel wise, they were very strong.

"It was a good game. A good work-out. It's beneficial to get in a game. The pitch was soft, but as good as you'd expect at this time of the year.

"It's a pipe-opener to the season. It's great to see how fit the lads are. It shows they are ready to go from the start. Matches like that can only bring on your sharpness."

Super Hoop Paddy Delaney was out with the fork replacing any stray divots. Both sides dug deep.

Six times they were level, five times before the Bovril. Both defences weren't giving away the jelly beans.

Dublin had a healthy portion of possession. They shot almost twice as many wides as the Stars, who got the crucial goals in the second half.

Dublin led at the interval, 0-8 to 0-7. They had an impressive looking half-back line; Stephen Hiney, Chris Crummey and Matthew McCaffrey.

 

Busy

Kevin Byrne and Martin Quilty were busy in the boiler house. Quilty struck two neat points from play, as did David Treacy.

Yet people were still shuffling back to the terraces when Paul Ryan arrowed in a blistering free to the basket. It's a trick that he has truly patented at this stage.

The Stars were two points behind when Aidan Roche steered in their second goal. And after that, they were on the highway for home.

Dalo headed in for the post-match grub. And soon enough, like Chris Rea, he was on the road himself.


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