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McCormack magic steers Dubs in the right direction

Two second-half goals from Robbie Mahon and Conor McCormack helped Dublin record an eight-point win over Ulster Club champions Loughiel in their senior hurling challenge match at Naomh Mearnog yesterday lunchtime.

The experimental Dublin selection gave a lethargic first-half display and they trailed by 1-9 to 0-9 at the interval, with Joey Scullion availing of a rare Stephen Hiney slip to goal on 30 minutes for the Antrim club.

Dublin improved upon the restart and Mahon's goal in the 38th minute gave the hosts the lead for the first time.

McCormack's superb individual goal six minutes from the end sealed a satisfactory afternoon's work for manager Anthony Daly, who witnessed Conal Keaney's return to the county colours in their impressive 4-17 to 1-11 victory over NUI Galway on Friday night.

"We'll be missing roughly 11 for the upcoming Walsh Cup but I still think we'll have a nice team out, with Conal returning to the fold," said Daly.

Scorers -- Dublin: R Mahon, C McCormack 1-3 each, D O'Callaghan 0-4 (0-1f), P Carton, D Curtin (0-1f), T Connolly (0-1f) 0-2 each, D Plunkett, S Ryan, N McMorrow, P Gillan (own point) 0-1 each. Loughiel: J Scullion 1-4 (0-4f), B MacAuley 0-7 (0-5f, 0-1 '65'), B McCarry 0-2, C McKinley, D Laverty 0-1 each.

Dublin -- F McGarry; C Harney, S Hiney, O Gough; D Kelly, J Sheanon, M Quilty; D Curtin, D Plunkett; P Carton, C McCormack, R Mahon; D O'Callaghan, S Ryan, T Connolly. Subs: C Clinton for Plunkett (h-t), J Doughan for Sheanon (h-t), N McMorrow for Curtin (40).

Loughiel -- D Quinn; P Gillan, L McGarry, R McCloskey; Mark McFadden, J Campbell, M Scullion; D Laverty, B MacAuley; C McKinley, O McFadden, L McKillop; B McCarry, J Scullion, A Watt. Subs: T McFadden for M Scullion (30), D McKinley for Watt and Mick McFadden for Mark McFadden (45).

Ref -- M Butler (Kilmacud Crokes).

Fingal hurlers began life under new manager Brian Dorney in the best possible manner, progressing to the next round where they will face Wicklow, having overcome a threadbare Trinity College.

Trinity raced into an early lead, with Anton Byrne scoring a goal inside the opening minute, before two Martin Ormonde frees and a Andrew Richardson score from play evened up affairs after 10 minutes, though Trinity still went in at the break leading by a point.

Fingal were by far the superior side in the second period, with Ormonde netting his side's first goal of the game with 39 minutes gone, only for William Lawrence to follow up with another four minutes later.

With 15 minutes to play, Trinity found themselves trailing Fingal by five points -- a gap they wouldn't be able to claw back.

Scorers -- Fingal: M Ormonde 1-5 (0-3f), W Lawrence 1-0, G Dillon 0-2, A Richardson, B McCarthy, M Cussen, C O'Mahony 0-1 each. Trinity College: M Phelan, 0-4 (0-3f), A Byrne 1-0, S O'Malley 0-2, C Coughlan, L Sexton, C Murphy 0-1 each.

Fingal -- C Harford; P Coyne, D Markey, N Ring; M Cussen, D Vaughan, A Morris; R McGarry, A McInerney; A Richardson, M Ormonde, G Dillon; B McCarthy, P Daly, N Feeney. Subs: R Sheridan for Cussen (53), W Lawerence for Morris (40), C O'Mahony for Richardson (40).

Trinity College -- M Doyle; D Hoban, S Walshe, O Daly; C Gleeson, M Phelan, D Sweeney; I Kavanagh, S O'Malley; A Byrne, C Murphy, L Sexton; C Donegan, A Brennan, S Dolphin. Subs: C Coughlan for C Gleeson (22).

Irish Independent