Rushe shows class to help propel Dubs past Faithful
DUBLIN 0-21 OFFALY 0-8
DUBLIN continued the defence of their title when they survived an early onslaught to overpower Offaly in a poor semi-final at Parnell Park last night.
It wasn't as flawless as the scoreline suggests and there were 13 wides and no shortage of teething problems for the Dubs before they pulled clear.
Dublin struggled to settle and it was all Offaly in the opening quarter, as they raced into a 0-6 to 0-2 lead.
But senior star Liam Rushe and St Jude's dual star Danny Sutcliffe stepped up to stop the rot. Rushe got in the path of a Gary Conneely drive for goal in the 11th minute and Kevin O'Loughlin, Ciaran Brennan and Robert Mahon picked off fine points to spark a revival.
It took a brilliant block from Offaly corner-back Chris McDonald to deny Brennan a goal but the Dubs kicked on and were 0-7 to 0-6 up at half-time -- with Offaly failing to score in the second quarter.
The Dubs were much improved after half-time and helped in no small part by Offaly's ill discipline as they picked up six yellow cards.
Kevin O'Loughlin's long-range accuracy from placed balls heaped more woe on Offaly and there were some fine individual scores from O'Loughlin, Sutcliffe and sub Niall McMorrow.
Offaly managed only three shots and two points in the second half as the Dubs eased clear and will play Wexford in the final in Wexford Park on July 13.
SCORERS -- Dublin: K O'Loughlin 0-11 (7f, 1 '65'), E Dillon 0-3, R Mahon, D Sutcliffe 0-2 each, C Brennan, S McGrath, N McMorrow 0-1 each. Offaly: A Hynes 0-3 (3f), G Conneely, T Carroll 0-2 each, S Kinsella 0-1.
DUBLIN -- G McManus; B O'Carroll, D King, J Doughan; D Curran, L Rushe, M Quilty; C Gough, D Plunkett; D Sutcliffe, M Schutte, R Mahon; K O'Loughlin, E Dillon, C Brennan. Subs: S McGrath for Brennan (34), N McMorrow for Mahon (50), F Clabby for Rushe (52), T Connolly for Plunkett (55), C Murphy for O'Carroll (56).
OFFALY -- S Corcoran; D Magner, S Coughlan, C McDonald; D Shortt, E Murphy, B Mulrooney; M Ryan, T Spain; S Cleary, G Conneely, S Kinsella; S Gardiner, A Hynes, T Carroll. Subs: D King for Ryan (25), J Sampson for Kinsella (27), G Spollen for Shortt (41), A Kelly for Conneely (45), J Geraghty for Spain (52).
Ref -- D Hughes (Carlow).