Dublin minors suffer scare before pulling away from Westmeath late on
Down by 1-10 to 0-8 after 36 minutes, Dublin found their scoring boots to make final
Westmeath’s Conor Gibney is challenged by David O’Dowd of Dublin during the Electric Ireland Leinster MFC semi-final at TEG Cusack Park. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/Inpho
Westmeath 1-11 Dublin 0-18
Dublin’s minor footballers were given a real scare in Mullingar on Saturday afternoon, the visitors having to come from five points in arrears early in the second half before eventually defeating Westmeath in the Leinster semi-final by a four-point margin.
Westmeath raced into a three-point lead with as many minutes gone, but Dublin were 0-6 to 0-3 ahead by the 19th minute – three of their points coming from corner forward Alex Rogers.
Westmeath then took over and it needed great defending on his own goal line by Conor Tyrrell to prevent Luke Buckley from converting the best goal chance of the half in the 24th minute, at the expense of a 45 which Buckley converted. The home side deservedly led by 0-9 to 0-7 at the interval.
The midlanders looked set for a shock victory when Ben McGauran’s well-taken goal put them 1-10 to 0-8 ahead in the 36th minute.
However, Dublin completely took over at that juncture, outscoring their hosts by 0-10 to 0-1 in the time remaining, with half-time sub Ross Keogh especially influential.
In general, the visitors’ ability to kick a range of well-engineered points eventually wore down the home team who visibly tired as the game went on.
WESTMEATH: J Mulkearns; A Treanor, D Fagan, C Daly; D Seery, E Martin, J Gahan; C Gibney, F O’Hara (0-2); C Lawlor, L Buckley (0-1, one 45), D Hill (0-1); B McGauran (1-4), S Reid (0-1), D Leech (0-2).
Subs: D Mnguni for Lawlor (42 mins), J Corcoran for Gahan (47), S Williams for Leech (54), R Hanley for Reid (57), C Lawlor for Buckley (60+1 ), C Murray for Hill (60+2 ).
DUBLIN: H O’Sullivan; C Tyrell, B Millist, K Conroy; B Harding, S Forker (0-1), C Archer (0-1); D O’Dowd, H Colclough; R O’Dwyer (0-1, free), S Kinsella, F Murray (0-6, three frees, one 45); A Rogers (0-4), L Swan, R Bolger (0-1).
Subs: L Murphy-Guinane (0-1) for Colclough (h/t), R Keogh (0-3) for Kinsella (h/t), D Fagan for O’Dwyer (34 mins), A Watson for Archer (40), L Curran for Bolger (47).
Referee: D Hickey (Carlow).