Wednesday 17 January 2018

Game at a glance

Man of the match

Bryan Cullen (Dublin)

Paddy Keenan stormed into the second half for Louth, but, while the game was still competitive, Bryan Cullen worked his patch from wing-forward to midfield best of all and fired over three fine points.

Turning point

The last few seconds of the Leinster final two weeks earlier? As much as they might like to deny it, Louth could never have been right for this fixture, hence the dreadful start.

Talking point

Much the same as above. The psychological impact of the Leinster final was too damaging for Louth to perform. For Dublin, progress continues slowly. Bernard Brogan was held to one point from play, yet they still won smartly.

Ref watch

Not a game to tax Pat McEnaney greatly. He might have put Bryan Cullen in his book at some stage and perhaps given Conal Keaney a second-half penalty. A very marginal call, however, that had no impact on the result.

What they said

Pat Gilroy (Dublin manager):

"I think we are a better team. I think we are playing more as a team than this time last year. We are not relying so much on certain individuals, because the team effort is a bit better. But I still think we have a fair bit to go to really push on into the top level."

Peter Fitzpatrick (Louth manager):

"I'm using no excuses whatsoever, we had two weeks to get ourselves prepared, whether it was the occasion that got to us, I'm not too sure. We just regrouped at half-time and we came back and played the way Louth are capable of playing.

"I'm sure the Leinster final had some kind of a bearing, but, again, I'm using no excuses, we were beaten by a better team today."

Match statistics

Wides: Dublin 13 (9), Louth 6 (3)

Frees: Dublin 16 (8), Louth 27 (13)

Yellow Cards: Dublin 3 (MD Macauley 17, B Cahill 36, R O'Carroll 48); Louth 2 (N Gallagher 6, D Finnegan 53).

Red cards: 0

Attendance: 47,738.

What next?

the Metropolitans go head-to-head with Tyrone in the quarter-finals next weekend. Louth have to make playing at a higher grade of league football an immediate priority for the new season.

Irish Independent

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