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Sweet and sour for Sixteens

IT was a day of mixed fortunes for Dublin's Under 16 footballers as they participated in a 
three-team blitz at the Louth GAA Centre of Excellence in Darver last Saturday lunchtime.

It was still a hugely beneficial outing for the Blues as they used 38 players in their matches against Longford and Meath, with Dublin proving too strong for the former in their opening tie.

The Dubs impressed from the opening whistle against Longford and despite playing against the elements, they went into an early 2-2 to 0-0 lead thanks to points from Mikey Dunne and Kevin Lillis and goals by Cormac Howley and the highly influential Seán Bugler.

Longford's limitations were exposed as the half progressed and a third goal came late in first half as Eric Rowan applied the finish to a great move as Dublin's forwards combined very well.

Longford struggled for primary possession and failed to exert any concerted pressure on the Dublin defence but Nathan Doran, Darragh McKenna showed well in Dublin's full-back line while Michael Robinson made one good save as Dublin enjoyed a 3-9 to 0-0 interval advantage.

Procession

The procession continued upon the restart as Dublin stretched their lead through a Rory Clarke goal and points from Conor Hynes and Lillis.

By the three-quarter mark, Eric Rowan and Bugler had added their second goals while Hynes grabbed Dublin's seventh goal to confirm a 7-13 to 1-0 win.

It proved far more difficult in Dublin's second tie as Meath dominated in the second-half to register a solid 3-10 to 1-9 win.

Dublin started well, leading by 1-2 to 0-0 inside five minutes following points from Michael Courtney and Conor Lennon before the former netted following excellent work from Aaron Carey.

However, Meath gained a foothold in the middle third as Dublin struggled to secure possession off their own 
kick-outs, although points from Kieran Murray and Ciarán Dowling inched Dublin to a 1-4 to 0-5 interval lead.

Meath were much the better team in the second-half, on top in the middle and on breaks, with their forwards very clinical and against a Dublin side whose work-rate dropped.

Meath hit three goals in a seven-minute spell and although Dublin rallied towards the close of game with points from Dunne, Rory Clarke and Rowan, the flurry of goals had already settled the outcome.


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