Sunday 18 February 2018

Strong finish fires Dublin to showdown with Tipp

Dublin 2-22 Antrim 2-11

Dublin's Eoghan Conroy battles against Antrim's Joe Maskey and Donal Carey
Dublin's Eoghan Conroy battles against Antrim's Joe Maskey and Donal Carey Newsdesk Newsdesk

All-Ireland MHC quarter-final

Dublin scored the last seven points to fend off Antrim's challenge in Saturday's All-Ireland MHC quarter-final in Kingspan Breffni Park.

Johnny McGurk's side were given a sterner test than had been predicted, but first-half goals from Eoghan Conroy and Fergal Whitely helped them into a 2-11 to 1-8 half-time lead.

Midfielder Matthew Oliver finished the game with 0-11, ten scores from placed balls, and hit six points in the second half as Dublin booked a semi-final place against Munster champions Tipperary on August 16.

Antrim looked in serious trouble when Dublin raced into a 1-4 to 0-0 lead early on. Eoghan Conroy bagged the opening goal in the seventh minute, latching onto Carl Sammon's long ball in and flicking it to the net.

Antrim hit an unanswered 1-3 in a four-minute spell to get themselves back into the game, Conor Small with the goal in the 15th minute.

Dublin responded well, with Whitely finishing off his own strong run through the middle, and batting the sliotar into the net for the Dubs' second goal after 17 minutes, which helped Dublin into a 2-11 to 1-8 lead at the interval.

Christy McNaughton's 44th-minute goal brought Antrim to within four points, trailing 2-15 to 2-11, but that was to be their last score, with Dublin scoring an unanswered seven points to run out comfortable winners.

SCORERS - Dublin: M Oliver 0-11 (10f), F Whitely 1-2, E Conroy 1-0, M Maguire 0-3, C Sammon 0-2, D Gray, A Considine, G King, E Foley 0-1 each. Antrim: C McNaughton 1-5 (5f), C Small 1-0, K Malloy 0-2, G Walsh (f), C Doherty-Cunning, D McLaughlin, R McKee 0-1 each.

DUBLIN - E Skelly; C Hendricken, D Butler, C Ryan; E Foley, P Smyth, C O'Sullivan; M Oliver, F Whiteley; C Sammon, M Maguire, D Gray; C Dowling, E Conroy, A Considine.

Subs: G King for O'Sullivan (40), D Ryan for Smyth (45), J McGurk for Dowling (46), C Currie for Conroy (52), C Burke for Considine (60).

ANTRIM - B Connor; O McKenna, D Carey, C Carson; J Maskey, G Walsh, S Duffin; C McMullan, K Malloy; C Doherty-Cunning, C Small, C McNaughton; D McShane, D McLaughlin, R McKee. Subs: C Blair for McKenna (44), J Daniels for McShane (44), A Burke for McLaughlin (51), CJ McKenna for McKee (59), D McKernan for Duffin (59).

REF - J Keane (Galway)

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