Dublin stay firmly on track


Dublin 4-15 Louth 0-10:Whereas it might harsh to characterise the Bórd na Móna O’Byrne Cup semi-final as the gutter of football, Dublin were nonetheless looking at the stars yesterday. Manager Jim Gavin confirmed after his team’s untroubled victory that the players had been wearing GPS tracking devices to monitor movement on the pitch.

To some that might sound more Orwellian than Wildean but Gavin felt the exercise was unexceptional and explained the benefits.

“Just in terms of the distance that they cover in the games, and the speed that they cover the games as well. Quite a number of teams would use it. I think it would be quite common place in most intercounty squads. I wouldn’t see it as innovative . . . ”

Asked for the average distance covered by one his players, he parried the question.

Decided to rest

Louth manager Aidan O’Rourke rested a good few senior players and the team in general looked a step off the pace Dublin were able to set.

Within 10 minutes Dublin led by seven, 2-2 to 0-1, thanks to two goals in a minute from a busy Bernard Brogan. The first arrived when Paddy Andrews hoisted a ball into the square, where Denis Bastick, who had a fine match, fielded it and laid it off to the incoming Brogan.

The second was a rifled finish after the 2010 Footballer of the Year had stepped inside the defence. Dublin continued to press, particularly down the left flank where Jack McCaffrey’s breaks from wing back caused plenty of trouble.

All of the goals were scored before half-time. Emmett Ó Conghaile extracted top price for a misplaced clearance in the 22nd minute and his lob, which may have been intended for a point, dropped in.

Then in injury-time at the end of the half after Louth had strung a couple of scores together, Brogan turned creator and his quick hand pass enable Paul Hudson to punch in the fourth.

Every attack

Louth could reflect on the positive that they score with nearly every attack, Jim McEneaney in particular proving a handful in ending the half with four points, two from play. Corner forward David Reid also took two sharp points but in general Louth were being overrun.

Bastick and Declan O’Mahony dominated centrefield until the latter was replaced at the break.

Dublin lacked a bit of urgency – ending the match with 14 wides – in a second half that was better contested. Dual minor prodigy Cormac Costello made his senior debut and looked lively, kicking a point within minutes of his introduction.

The final against Kildare takes place next Saturday evening at 7.0 in Parnell Park.

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