Oisin Lynch and Conor McHugh catch the eye for Jim Gavin's Dublin in high-scoring win over the Dubs Stars
DUBLIN 3-19 DUBS STARS 1-14
Conor McHugh and Oisin Lynch contributed a combined haul of 3-8 to guide Dublin towards a comprehensive victory in the Dublin Bus/Herald Dubs Stars Football Challenge at Pairc Barrog this afternoon.
With six All-Ireland SFC titles to his name, Kevin McManamon was the star attraction on the Dubs Stars side - a selection based of the finest club talent in the 2018 Dublin club championship.
While it was a largely experimental Sky Blues outfit, Gavin was able to call upon the services of senior panellists Andy Bunyan, Conor Mullally and the aforementioned McHugh.
After the Na Fianna attacker’s opening-minute free was cancelled by McManamon, Dublin added unanswered points through Cormac Diamond, Lynch and midfielder Cormac Howley. McManamon reduced the gap with another fine effort, before Lynch rattled the back of David Nestor’s net from close-range.
A brace of Ryan Basquel scores helped the Stars to settle, only for the excellent Lynch to extend the Dublin lead to nine points with his second goal on the 20-minute mark.
A Micheal McCarthy three-pointer offered a potential lifeline to the Stars, but McHugh had the final say in the opening half with an audacious chip over the stranded Nestor - one of five players on show from county champions Kilmacud Crokes.
This provided Dublin with a 3-9 to 1-4 interval platform - and they extended their lead on the resumption via the boots of Jack Hazley (two), Cormac Diamond (two), McHugh and Lynch.
Facing into a 17-point deficit, the Stars developed a much-desired purple patch in the third-quarter - Sean Bugler (two), Shane Horan, Stephen Smith and McManamon all finding the target in quick succession.
Indeed, following back-to-back efforts from Aaron Byrne and Howley at the opposite end, the Stars significantly reduced their deficit with another haul of five points on the bounce.
Basquel, McManamon, Ger Brennan and Tom Lahiff were all on target in this period, but Dublin still managed to close the game out effectively with Lynch and Hazley points.
Dublin: O Lynch 2-3, C McHugh 1-5 (0-2f), C Howley 0-4, C Diamond, J Hazley 0-3 each, A Byrne 0-1.
Dubs Stars Football: K McManamon, R Basquel 0-4 each, M McCarthy 1-0, S Bugler 0-2, T Lahiff, S Horan, S Smith, G Brennan 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: A Bunyan; R McDaid, S McMahon, CJ Smith; R Gaughan, C Mullally, D Monaghan; C Howley, D Gavin; C Diamond, A Byrne, S Boland; O Lynch, J Hazley, C McHugh. Subs: M Shields, N Doran, E Finn, C Murphy.
DUBS STARS FOOTBALL: D Nestor; L Flatman, A McGowan, A Fallon; C O’Connor, C Guckian, T Lahiff; A Waters, M Sweeney; S Horan, S Bugler, K McManamon; S Smith, R Basquel, M McCarthy. Subs: L Mailey, G Brennan, T Quinn, R Ryan.
Referee: S McCarthy (St Vincent’s).