Louth’s long wait for minor glory continues as Dublin run out easy winners at Croke Park
Louth’s long wait for a Leinster Minor Championship will continue into at least a 65th year following a 2-19 to 0-12 defeat to Dublin in Croke Park today.
Wayne Kierans’ side were aiming to become the first team from the Wee County to win a minor championship since 1953 but early goals from James Madden and James Doran put Dublin firmly in the driving seat and they never looked back as they ran out 13 point winners in the end.
Playing in their first provincial final at minor level since 1971, Louth would have been hoping for a decent start to steady the nerves.
As it transpired they were 2-3 to 0-1 down inside the opening eight minutes and there was never really a way back from there.
Ross McGarry took just 19 seconds to open the scoring for Dublin with a point and doubled their advantage with a second shortly after.
Madden and Doran then struck goals within seconds of each other in the seventh minute.
Both players took off on lung bursting runs through the centre but while Madden shot low to the left corner of Dublin’s goal, Doran’s finish was a blasted left footed rocket to the roof of the net.
McGarry added his third point in the eighth minute and suddenly Dublin were eight points clear.
Dublin failed to score again until the 21st minute as Louth opened up with their best passage of play and kicked three points in a row.
Ciaran Keenan converted back to back frees and Fearghal Malone clipped a neat point after good work by John Gallagher and Alan Connor.
Dublin soon found their groove again in the closing 10 minutes of the half and outscored Louth by 0-8 to 0-1 to take a commanding lead into the break.
They scored six points in a row to close out the half with David Lacey, Sean Hawkshaw and Eoin O’Dea all catching the eye as Dublin moved 2-11 to 0-5 clear.
Despite their best efforts, Louth were restricted to just two points from play over the hour as Dublin coasted to a 33rd minor title in the second half.
O’Dea and Doran added to their tallies in the second-half and there were also scores from substitutes Adam Byrne, Ciaran Archer and Luke Doran as they ran out easy winners.
A memorable year for the county minors isn’t over just yet. They will play Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-finals next month.
Scorers for Dublin: James Doran 1-1, David Lacey 0-4 (0-1f, 0-1 45), Ross McGarry 0-3, James Madden 1-0, Ciaran Archer 0-2 (0-1f), Sean Hawkshaw 0-2 (0-1f), Eoin O’Dea 0-2, Kieran Kennedy 0-1, Daniel Brennan 0-1, Mark Tracey 0-1, Adam Byrne 0-1, Luke Doran 0-1.
Scorers for Louth: John Gallagher 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 45), Ciaran Keenan 0-5 (0-5f), Fearghal Malone 0-1, Liam Jackson 0-1.
DUBLIN: David O’Hanlon; Darren Maher, Peadar O Cofaigh Byrne, Liam Flatman; Kieran Kennedy, Neil Matthews, Eoin O’Dea; Mark Tracey, Donal Ryan; Daniel Brennan, James Doran, James Madden; Ross McGarry, Sean Hawkshaw, David Lacey. Subs: Adam Byrne for Brennan (38), Ciaran Archer for Lacey (48), Aaron Lynch for Maher (51), Luke Doran for O’Dea (55), Karl Lynch Bissett for Tracey (56), Eoghan Joyce for Hawkshaw (58).
LOUTH: Alan McGauley; Alan Connor, Philip Trainor, Dan Corcoran; Leonard Grey, Eoghan Callaghan, James O’Reilly; Liam Jackson, Conor Morgan; Gerry Garland, Ciaran Keenan, Fearghal Malone; Ben Mooney, Conor Gillespie, John Gallagher. Subs: Adam Molloy for McGauley (20), Conor Nicholson for Malone (h/t), Shane Hickey for Morgan (37), Shane Byrne for Gillespie (49), Keelan O’Neill for Garland (51), Dean McGreehan for Grey (58).
Ref: Patrick Maguire (Longford).