Friday 6 December 2019

Dubs Rock their way through to last four as DCU fall short

Dublin 1-16 DCU 1-12

Dublin’s Darren Daly battles for possession with DCU’s Conor Moynagh. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile
Dublin’s Darren Daly battles for possession with DCU’s Conor Moynagh. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile
Con O'Callaghan, Dublin, shoots to score his side's first goal despite the efforts of Dessie Ward. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile

Liam Kelly

The mood music at Parnell Park was rock'n'roll followed by easy listening afterwards as both managers expressed their satisfaction with their third match in seven days.

Dean Rock's calm and assured performance and his six points contribution - three from frees - helped a deserving Dubs side shimmy through to the semi-finals in which they face Longford at Pearse Park.

The respective managers, Jim Gavin and Niall Moyna, had no cause for complaint about their own teams, the referee, or the opposition. All was pretty much sweetness and light at this early stage of the season.

Jim Gavin acknowledged that the prospect of another match to come is very acceptable to Dublin.

"Dublin City University are a very good side.

"Niall has them, as always, playing great football. It was another lively encounter between both teams.

"We had some good performances and some good score-taking. Paul Murphy in Parnell Park did a great job to get that pitch ready for today and in great condition.

"We're happy with the performance and the result is just a bonus," he said.

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DCU manager Niall Moyna knew what to expect from the county he expects to mount a huge challenge to retain the Sam Maguire this year.

"That wasn't the Dubs, that was the Dubs lookalike, to be pragmatic about it.

"They're going to be very hard to beat. The thing about Dublin now, which they didn't have for years, is that winning is a habit. When you win that first All-Ireland, you realise, it's not that tough after all.

"It just gives you the confidence, but when you haven't won one, you think it's Mount Everest and I think that's the difference, just the mental attitude of players when you've won it," he said.

Dublin have used 29 players in their three Group matches, drawing with Wexford, defeating Carlow IT in midweek, and holding off a determined challenge from DCU yesterday.

Both sets of players worked hard on a heavy pitch which, as Gavin said, was a credit to the work of the Parnell Park ground staff.


DCU were busy and productive early on but once they went behind to a Con O'Callaghan goal in the 19th minute to make it 1-3 to 0-4, the students never again got the lead.

They came very close at times to getting back on equal terms, only to find the hardened backbone of the Dubs utilising their strength and experience to good effect.

Dean Rock, Paddy Andrews, James McCarthy, Jonny Cooper, Philly McMahon and Denis Bastick provided a solid platform for the younger set to try and impress the management team.

Cuala's O'Callaghan did his prospects no harm by finishing off a four-man move with a bullet of a left foot shot sending the ball flying into the DCU net.

At half-time Dublin were four points ahead at 1-7 to 0-6.

They led by six early in the second half when Shane Carthy and Rock tacked on scores to move the Dubs dial to 1-9.

Longford's Mickey Quinn had clipped over DCU's first point of the second half, taking them to 0-7 inside the first two minutes of the half.

Their two half-time substitutes, Simon McCoy from Armagh and Kerryman David Mannix were lively and effective.

Quinn and Roscommon's Enda Smith worked hard to drive DCU forward, and Shane Carey contributed seven points, three from frees.

The problem for DCU was the Dubs just kept driving on and refused to be rattled by Smith's 66th-minute goal.

McCoy had made another surging run forward into the heart of Dublin territory and found himself in a surprising amount of space. Just when it seemed he had gone too far on his solo run, he slipped the ball to Smith, who stroked it into the net past Michael Savage.

At a stroke, Dublin's lead was reduced to just two points at 1-13 to DCU's 1-11.

But in the last few minutes, Costello, Rock from a free and Jason Whelan - from a Rock pass - reeled off the points that saw the Dubs safely through.

Bryan Cullen, the captain of the 2011 Dublin All-Ireland winning side was at the game, and Jim Gavin welcomed Cullen's appointment as High Performance Manager for Dublin.

"I think it's great vision and foresight by John Costello to bring somebody of that expertise for the players.

"We are absolutely delighted and very excited to have Dr Bryan Cullen working with the team," said Gavin.

Scorers - Dublin: D Rock 0-6 (3f); C O'Callaghan 1-2; C Costello 0-3; S Carthy, P Andrews 0-2 each; J Whelan 0-1. DCU : S Carey 0-7 (3f); Enda Smith 1-3; M Quinn, D Byrne 0-1 each.

Dublin - M Savage; J Cooper, J Curley, C Mullally; N Scully, P McMahon, J Small; J McCarthy, D Bastick; T Brady D Rock, S Carthy; C Costello, P Andrews, C O'Callaghan. Subs: J Whelan for T Brady (h-t); C Reddin for D Bastick (22); D Daly for C Mullally (42); M Deegan for P Andrews (53); S Cunningham for J McCarthy (59); E Culligan for J Cooper (60).

DCU - P O'Donnell; Eoin Smith, K Feely, S Attride; C Mulligan, C Moynagh, D Byrne; C McGonagle, S Carthy; R Connor, M Quinn, C Breheney; C McHugh, Enda Smith, S Carey. Subs: D Ward for C Mulligan (31); S McCoy for C McHugh (h-t); D Mannix for C Breheney (h-t); P McKenna for Eoin Smith (46); Eoghan Smyth for R Connor (53)

Ref - A Nolan (Wicklow)

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