Sport Hurling

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Devastating Dubs cruise to another final

DUBLIN continued their whirlwind assault on this championship with a comprehensive 26-point win at Pairc Esler in Newry.

The Dubs, who had 12, 13 and 10 points to spare over Carlow, Offaly and Wexford respectively in the defence of their Leinster crown, were in devastating form after the break.

If they were sluggish early on, the Dubs showed their true colours by scoring 1-10 without reply in the first 18 minutes of the second half to book a place in the All-Ireland final for the first time since 2007.

It's another landmark event in a hugely successful season for Dublin hurling, and the U-21s now join the minors in All-Ireland finals against Galway next month.

Dublin got off to a perfect start, with 6'4'' centre-forward Mark Schutte -- also a member of Pat Gilroy's senior football squad -- crashing through for a goal in the first minute.

After 16 minutes, the Dubs were 1-5 to 0-2 in front, with Martin Quilty dominant in defence and the roving Kevin O'Loughlin causing trouble up front.


Antrim were starved of possession by a sharper Dublin who led 1-9 to 0-3 at half-time. Schutte created a second goal after only 20 seconds of the second half, setting up Eamon Dillon for a shot well saved by Gillan but flicked to the net by Sean McGrath.

The goal crushed any hope of a comeback as Dublin reeled off 10 points before Paddy McNaughton replied in the 49th minute.

Michael Armstrong and Kevin McKiernan fought hard for Antrim but the Dubs could afford to take off senior star Liam Rushe long before the finish as they cruised to another big day out.

SCORERS -- Dublin: K O'Loughlin 0-7 (4f, 1 sl), M Schutte 1-3, S McGrath 1-1, B Quinn 1-0, D Plunkett, N McMorrow 0-3 each, E Dillon 0-2, D Curran, C Gough, T Connolly, O O Maoileidigh 0-1 each. Antrim: C McCann 0-3f, J Black, M Devlin, P McNaughton 0-1 each.

DUBLIN -- G McManus; B O'Carroll, D Kelly, J Doughan; D Curran, L Rushe, M Quilty; C Gough, D Sutcliffe; D Plunkett, M Schutte, N McMorrow; K O'Loughlin, S McGrath, E Dillon. Subs: F Clabby for O'Carroll (42), T Connolly for O'Loughlin (inj (45), S O'Connor for Sutcliffe (48), O O Maoileidigh for McGrath (49), B Quinn for Rushe (53).

ANTRIM -- E Gillan; T McAllister, K McKiernan, C O'Loughlin; P McKeague, M Armstrong, N Cunningham, C Laverty, P McNaughton; J Black, M Devlin, T McCloskey; D McLean, C McCann, S Smyth. Subs: C Gillan for M Devlin (33), A Downey for McKeague (46), B Curran for Laverty (56).

Ref -- F Smyth (Meath).

Irish Independent

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