Tuesday 24 October 2017

Dubs get lines right on opening night

Dublin 2-12 Armagh 1-11

Dublin's Eoghan O'Gara tries to evade the challenge of Ciaran McKeever in the Athletic Grounds. Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Dublin's Eoghan O'Gara tries to evade the challenge of Ciaran McKeever in the Athletic Grounds. Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Francis Mooney

The Dubs spoiled Armagh's big party night with an NFL win at the magnificently redeveloped Athletic Grounds.

Cardinal Sean Brady's pre-match blessing was not enough to inspire Paddy O'Rourke's side to a winning start to life back in Division 1.

Bernard Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly netted the goals that secured points on the road for Pat Gilroy's men.

This was the perfect result for Dublin as they prepare to drive up tickets sales ahead of the glamour visit of All-Ireland champions Cork to Croke Park in a fortnight.

More importantly, it was a performance to enthuse and encourage boss Gilroy as he continues his mission -- to build a side capable of tasting summer success.

Connolly punished a Brendan Donaghy mistake by drilling home a third minute goal, but Armagh went ahead after Charlie Vernon had smashed in a goal off the underside of the crossbar, and Gareth Swift banged over a couple of points.

Dublin, with Kevin McManamon's industry a key feature, finished the first half strongly, and a couple of points each from Bernard Brogan and Tomas Quinn sent them in with a 1-7 to 1-4 interval lead.

Steven McDonnell's point had just brought the sides level for the fifth time when Dublin struck gold, hitting 1-2 in the space of two minutes, including Brogan's punched goal in the 60th minute. Paul Flynn and Brogan also curled over points to clinch an opening-day win for the Dubs, as Armagh's challenge faded towards the end.

Scorers -- Dublin: B Brogan 1-3, D Connolly 1-1, K McManamon, T Quinn (1 '45) 0-2 each, D Lally, P Flynn, MD Macauley, E O'Gara 0-1 each. Armagh: C Vernon 1-1, G Swift, S McDonnell (2f) 0-4 each, M O'Rourke, BJ Padden 0-1 each

Dublin: S Cluxton; A Hubbard, S Murray, M Fitzimons; D Lally, J McCarthy, P Casey; MD Macauley, D Bastick; B Cullen, K McManamon, D Connolly; T Quinn, E O'Gara, B Brogan. Subs: P Flynn for Quinn, B Cahill for Bastick, A Brogan for Connolly, P Andrews for O'Gara, D Kelly for B Brogan

Armagh: P McEvoy; V Martin, B Donaghy, A Mallon; K Dyas, C McKeever, P Duffy; K Toner, C Vernon; M Mackin, BJ Padden, R Grugan; B Mallon, G Swift, S McDonnell. Subs: F Moriarty for Martin, A Duffy for Mackin, M O'Rourke for B Mallon, C Clarke for Padden, C Watters for Grugan

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)

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