The ambitions of the Dublin Masters football panel was given another boost on Saturday afternoon as they advanced to the All-Ireland semi-finals when defeating Donegal by 4-13 to 1-8 in Ballinagh, Cavan.
The foundation was set at the back with Felim Condron, Cormac Donohoe and Shane Guckian starring in the full-back line alongside wing-back Gary O’Connell as goals from tireless midfielder Damian Flanagan, Niall Crossan and Shane O’Sullivan yielded a 3-3 to 0-5 interval lead.
Donegal bounced back well in the third quarter as they kicked 1-2 without reply but Dublin soon regained the initiative as Ciarán McGuinness provided an instinctive finish as he precisely lobbed the retreating Donegal goalkeeper.
The Dubs pulled away from that point with their dominance reflected in three points from play by Kevin O’Carroll, while Crossan finished the game with 1-6 to his name.
Brendan McManamon’s powerful surges were another feature of the Dublin display with the St Jude’s player scoring two points in addition to setting up scores for Warren Finnegan and Donal Ryan.
With manager Martin Hughes expecting some key personnel to return from family holidays over the coming days, competition for places for the semi-final on Saturday week should be intense.
A consistent and welcome feature of the afternoon and of all the games that have been played was the large crowd that took the time and effort to support the team against Donegal with special mention going to ‘Dublin Gerry’, who was in attendance to cheer on his beloved Dubs.