Early blitz sends Dublin on the way to minor title

Two early goals a sign Louth unable to cope with metropolitans’ all-round strength

Dublin celebrate their victory over Louth in the Leinster final at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Dublin celebrate their victory over Louth in the Leinster final at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Dublin 2-19 Louth 0-12

Luckless Louth waited almost 50 years for an Electric Ireland Leinster minor football final appearance at Croke Park yet, in truth, their race was virtually run within seven minutes.

Dublin goals from James Madden and James Doran in those opening minutes put the favourites well in the clear and on the way to a 33rd title at the grade, their first since 2014.

Dublin finished up with 12 different scorers in total and had the Player of the Match in Kieran Kennedy as they ran out 13-point victors.

It was Louth’s first final appearance since 1971 yet they stood little chance after that early barrage from Tom Gray’s side.

Dublin’s reward is an early August All-Ireland quarter-final clash with the Munster runners-up while Louth will have a chance to atone at that stage also.

Louth hoped for a decent start to steady nerves in their first minor final appearance in 46 years. Yet they trailed by 2-3 to 0-1 before the game was even eight minutes old as Dublin opened up at an ominous pace.

Ross McGarry took just 19 seconds to open the scoring for Dublin with a point and doubled their advantage with a second, kicking scores off either foot.

Madden and Doran then struck goals within seconds of each other in the seventh minute to help open up that early eight-point advantage.

Another six points in a row before the break put Dublin 2-11 to 0-5 clear and left them already looking to the next stage.

Louth needed a miracle to rescue a result from the game but it never arrived as Dublin’s defence held firm and restricted Wayne Kierans’ side to just 0-3 from open play over the hour.

DUBLIN: D O’Hanlon; D Maher, P O Cofaigh Byrne, L Flatman; K Kennedy (0-1), N Matthews, E O’Dea (0-2); M Tracey (0-1), D Ryan; D Brennan (0-1), J Doran (1-1), J Madden (1-0); R McGarry (0-3), S Hawkshaw (0-2, 1f), D Lacey (0-4, 1f 145).

Subs: A Byrne (0-1) for Brennan (38 mins), C Archer (0-2, 1f) for Lacey (48 mins), L Doran (0-1) for O’Dea (55 mins), K Lynch Bissett for Treacey (56 mins), E Joyce for Hawkshaw 58.

LOUTH: A McGauley; A Connor, P Trainor, D Corcoran; L Grey, E Callaghan, J O’Reilly; L Jackson (0-1), C Morgan; G Garland, C Keenan (0-5, 5f), F Malone (0-1); B Mooney, C Gillespie, J Gallagher (0-5, 0-3f, 0-1 45).

Subs: A Molloy for McGauley (20 mins), C Nicholson for Malone (ht), S Hickey for Morgan (37 mins), S Byrne for Gillespie (49 mins), K O’Neill for Garland (51 mins), D McGreehan for Grey (58 mins).

Referee: P Maguire (Longford).

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