Leinster U21 round-up: Aaron Byrne grabs two goals in Dublin win

Offaly and Longford also through to semi-finals

Brian Howard of Dublin claims the ball ahead of Westmeath’s Boidu Sayeh during the EirGrid Leinster U21 Football Championship quarter-final at Lakepoint Park in Mullingar. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Westmeath 0-6 Dublin 2-14

A late flurry of scores enabled Dublin to advance to the Leinster under-21 football semi-finals with a comfortable win against Westmeath at a wet and windy Lakepoint Park in Mullingar on Wednesday night.

The home team started brightly with two unanswered points from Daire Conway – within the first 30 seconds – Ronan O’Toole. However, Dublin soon took control and they were on level terms by the time Aaron Byrne found the net at the second attempt in the 11th minute after Kevin Fagan had saved his initial effort. Despite shooting eight wides to their opponents’ three in the first half, Dublin still led by five points (1-6 to 0-4) at half-time.

Westmeath reduced the deficit to four points with the first score of the second half in the 40th minute when Niall Mitchell converted a free. However, it was all Dublin from then on and they were nine points to the good (1-11 to 0-5) when the impressive Byrne scored his second goal at the end of a fine move in the 58th minute. Dessie Farrell’s troops added three late points to wrap up the win.


WESTMEATH: K Fagan; P Murray, R Wallace, B Sayeh; D Conway (0-1), M Kelly, M Darling; N Mitchell (0-1, free), L O'Reilly; S Clavin, R O'Toole (0-1), E O'Brien; J Kearney, S Duncan, D Giles (0-2, one free).

Subs: C Shanley (0-1) for O'Brien (h-t), I McGovern for Conway (h-t), G Murray for Kearney (39 mins), C Dillon for Kelly (39 mins), T Adamson for O'Toole (51 mins), R Curley for Clavin (51 mins).

DUBLIN: E Comerford; E Murchan (0-1), C O'Shea, D Byrne; S Clayton, S McMahon, B Howard; A Foley, C Murphy (0-1); G O'Reilly (0-1), C O'Callaghan (0-5, four frees), S Bolger; S Smith, A Byrne (2-3), T Fox.

Subs: C Basquel (0-2) for Bolger (h/t), C Sallier (0-1) for Smith (38 mins), D Gavin for O'Reilly (47 mins), A Elliott for Fox (57 mins), D McIllgorm for O'Callaghan (60 mins).

Referee: D Moore (Laois).

Offaly 1-6 Wexford 0-6

A blistering start to the second half told the tale for Offaly as they got the better of Wexford in a tough quarter-final in Gracefield.

On a bitterly cold evening and with a difficult swirling wind, conditions were not conducive to open football. Scores were at a premium in the first half and the sides were tied at 0-2 each at half-time.

With the wind slightly in Offaly’s favour in the second half, they got the breakthrough they needed with a 33rd-minute goal from Jordan Hayes.

They added a further four points before Wexford got their first second-half point and then withstood considerable pressure from the visitors to secure a deserved win.

OFFALY: B Rohan; C Horan, D Dempsey, C Doyle; A Mahon, C Stewart, PJ Daly; J Lalor, J Hayes (1-3, three frees); C Farrell, P Dunican, J Walsh; J Clancy, R McNamee (0-1), S Tierney (0-2).

Subs: R McEvoy for Clancy (48 mins), L Dignam for Dunican (60 mins), M Abbott for Tierney (63 mins).

WEXFORD: M Doyle; S Barden, R Devereux, A Murphy; D Bolger, N Rossiter, D Barden; N Hughes (0-2, frees), P Devereux; J Firman, I Carty (0-1), J Stafford; M Dwyer, T Byrne (0-1, free), M Rossiter (0-1, free).

Subs:D Redmond for S Barden (11 mins), D Pepper (0-1) for Bolger (40 mins), G Malone for D Barden (48 mins), M O'Connor for Murphy (55 mins), T Cody for Stafford (60 mins), T Bowler for P Devereux (61 mins).

Referee: B Tiernnan (Dublin).

Kildare 0-10 Longford 2-6

Longford caused something of an upset in beating Kildare at a windswept Hawkfield.

Two Nigel Rabbitte goals in the opening 12 minutes gave them the ideal start and they restricted Kildare to a solitary point in the first half. They took a 2-3 to 0-1 lead to the dressing room at half-time despite losing captain Shane Kenny to injury during the opening 30 minutes.

The second half was a very different affair and for the first 20 minutes Longford struggled to even make it out of their own 45.

Paddy Woodgate scored the first five points after the restart and in all Kildare scored nine in a row with Jack Robinson putting them ahead in the 50th minute.

The game looked to swung in Kildare’s favour but Conor Berry kicked two massive points for the visitors and Jayson Matthews completed the win in injury time.

KILDARE: D Campbell; M Hyland, D Maguire, M Dempsey, R O'Giollan, S Ryan, S Comerford (0-1); J Flynn, D Courtney; C Kavanagh, B Kelly, C Hartley (0-1), P Woodgate (0-6, frees), E Boyle, B McCormack.

Subs: C Costigan (0-2, one free) for Flynn (h/t), J Robinson for McCormack (h/t), K O'Callaghan (45 mins), J Costello for Kelly (56 mins).

LONGFORD: C Gallagher; K Sorohan, C Farrell, J Mooney; C Brady, D Reynolds, Russell Brady; D McGivney (0-1), S Kenny (0-1); J Kelly, N Rabbitte (2-0), P Lynn; Rian Brady (0-1), D Carrigy, A McElligott.

Subs: C Berry (0-2) for Kenny (22 mins), E Higgins for Russel Brady (40 mins), J Matthews (0-1) for Carrigy (47 mins), D Doherty for Lynn (52 mins), C Lee for Rabbittee (58 mins).

Referee: S Murphy (Louth).

Louth 1-13 Wicklow 0-9

Louth came in as favourites to win thei first-round match against Wicklow but found themselves four points down after a quarter of an hour at Abbotstown.

Wicklow couldn’t score for the rest of the half though and Louth, led by Ryan Burns, gained control of the match.

A quick fire 1-1 in the 22nd minute gave Louth a lead they never relinquished with Ciarán Downey scoring the point and providing the pass for Ross Nally’s goal.

Wicklow got back within four in the final couple of minutes but a late flurry of points eased Louth to victory.

LOUTH: S Hayes; C Clarke, K Carr, N Sharkey; D Maguire, M Corcoran, J Clutterbuck; C Early, C Grogan (0-1); D Hamill, R Burns (0-4, three frees), C Downey (0-3); T McEneaney, S Mulroy (0-2), R Nally (1-3).

Subs: G Matthews for T McEneaney (25 mins), C Callan for D Hamill (49 mins), E McDaid for N Sharkey (51 mins, BC), P Matthews for S Mulroy (54 mins).

WICKLOW: T McGuirk; C O'Gorman, C O'Brien, S Lohan; J McCall, E Murtagh (0-1), M Cullen; P Byrne (0-1), M Shannon (0-1); D Fitzgerald, G Allen (0-3, frees), C Magee; C Byrne, P O'Connor, M O'Connor (0-3, one free).

Subs: M Jackson for T McGuirk (h/t), T Maher for S Lohan (37 mins), J Bellamy for M Cullen (40 mins), D Walsh for J McCall (45 mins), D Hanlon for C Magee (59 mins).

Referee: D Sheppard (Dublin)