Saturday 18 November 2017

McGarry brace helps bag the Dubs a berth in the semi-finals

Dublin 2-11 Clare 0-10

Dublin's Ross McGarry. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Dublin's Ross McGarry. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Rónán Mac Lochlain

Ross McGarry was the star man as Dublin booked a semi-final with Derry on August 20 by clipping Clare at O’Moore Park.

The Leinster champions can be relatively pleased by the manner in which they largely controlled matters over the hour but will recognise the need for improvement after a sloppy first-half display. 

Having lost the Munster final to Kerry by 24 points, it was somewhat inevitable that Clare would start with a degree of caution. And, by doing so, they allowed Dublin have generous amounts of possession in the early stages.

Dublin took the lead in the second minute when Karl Lynch Bissett, selected in place of the injured James Madden, fired over a point from a James Doran pass.

Matters improved further for the Dubs three minutes later after  Donal Ryan made a typically direct run from deep. Ross McGarry struggled with the initial pass, but he regained his composure sufficiently to fire the ball past a plethora of Clare defenders on the line.

Fluency

Dublin struggled for fluency from this point because of their inaccurate passing, allowing Clare to gain confidence.

The Banner levelled through Gearoid Cahill in the 13th minute and deservedly took the lead eight minutes later through a cracking score from Coughlan.

Crucially, Dublin regained their lead approaching the break with two McGarry frees helping them to a 1-3 to 0-5 interval lead.

There was no immediate improvement in Dublin’s play upon the restart and they could even have fallen behind in the 32nd minute as Ross Phelan fired wide with the goal at his mercy. 

Dublin took full advantage of that reprieve as they edged further clear in the 35th minute as McGarry did just enough to deflect an innocuous looking Doran delivery past the flat-footed Stephen Ryan.

From that point, it was a case of Dublin pulling clear from their tiring opponents with Bissett impressing as the tie evolved.

Substitutes Ciaran Archer and Fionnan O’Sullivan heaped further misery on the Banner. 

Scorers – Dublin: R McGarry 2-4 (0-3f); S Hawkshaw, C Archer (0-1 ’45) 0-2 each; E O’Dea, K Lynch Bissett, F O’Sullivan 0-1 each. Clare: D Coughlan 0-4 (3f); G Cooney 0-3 (2f); G Cahill, R O’Doherty, J Sheedy 0-1 each. 

Dublin: D O’Hanlon; D Maher, P Ó Cofaigh Byrne, L Flatman; K Kennedy, N Matthews, E O’Dea; D Ryan, M Tracey; K Lynch Bissett, J Doran, D Brennan; R McGarry, S Hawkshaw, D Lacey. Subs: F O’Sullivan for Brennan (h-t), C Archer for Lacey (39), A Lynch for Maher (43), A Byrne for Ryan (54), H Ladd for McGarry (59), G Nangle for Kennedy (64).    

Clare: S Ryan; J Sheedy, J O’Sullivan, J Miniter; D Ryan, F Donnellan, C McNelis; D Griffin, K White; S Rouine, R Phelan, D Coughlan; R O’Doherty, G Cooney, G Cahill. Subs: S Casey for Cahill (39), C O’Donoghue for Phelan (42), A Reynolds for Griffin (44), P Kelly for O’Sullivan (54), C Dillon for White (57), C O’Brien for O’Doherty (61). 

Ref: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).

Irish Independent

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