All too easy for Dubs against Louth


GAA review:Dublin got their All-Ireland title defence off to a flawless start by stuffing a poor Louth team in at Croke Park. The game was effectively over at half-time by which stage Bernard Brogan had scored two goals and the champions had a 14-point lead.

Dublin were already coasting before the goals had arrived, with Kevin McManamon, in particular, impressing in the full forward line. Louth offered little and the three points they were able to muster came courtesy of the dead ball.

Things did not improve much for them in the second half and it allowed Pat Gilroy to give Championship debuts to Craig Dias and Johnny Cooper, both of whom looked assured in possession. The latter stages had the feeling of a procession and Dublin were guilty of missing opportunities for more goals that they did not need. When the final whistle blew it served as a relief for the Louth players, management and fans.

The first half of the double header at Croke Park provided a more evenly contested affair as Longford rescued a draw against Wexford deep in injury time.

Longford led for long periods of the second half thanks largely to Paul Barden's penalty conversion at the end of the first.

Wexford's half-back Adrian Flynn was the stand-out performer, scoring five points from play and when corner-back Rob Tierney put them in front with seconds to go it looked like Jason Ryan's side would progress. An injury time free from Seanie McCormack, however, put paid to that idea and the teams will meet again next Sunday.

In Ulster, Down's victory over Fermanagh was comfortable as they disposed of Peter Canavan's side with five points to spare. An altercation off the ball produced a red card early in the game for Daryl Keenan. It gave Down an advantage that they were all too happy to exploit. Championship debutant Donal O'Hare netted first before Conor Laverty got Down's second. Damian Kelly had pulled a goal back for Fermanagh but it was not enough and Down will now face Monaghan in the Ulster semi-final.

In Mullingar, Galway's hurlers were given more of a test by Westmeath than they may have initially expected. David Burke scored two of their five goals, but Niall O'Brien kept Westmeath within touching distance with a brace of his own. Ultimately, the comeback was as unlikely as it was tardy and Galway held on for a routine victory.

Leitrim had to come from behind in Ruislip to book their place in the Connacht semi-final where they will play Mayo. Pádraig McGoldrick's goal just before half-time gave London a 1-5 to 0-5 lead and had the hosts been more clinical from the dead ball then they could well have progressed.

As it was, points from Emlyn Mulligan and James Glancy in the latter stages of the second half were enough to give Leitrim the narrowest of victories.

Leinster Senior Football Championship

Wexford 0-15 Longford 2-9

Dublin 2-22 Louth 0-12

Connacht Senior Football Championship

London 1-8 Leitrim 0-12

Ulster Senior Football Championship

Fermanagh 1-8 Down 2-10

Leinster Senior Hurling Championship

Westmeath 4-12 Galway 5-19