Dublin win U-20 Battle

EirGrid All-Ireland U-20 Football Semi-Final  


By Declan Rooney at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park

Ciarán Archer hit two crucial early goals as Dublin qualified for the Eirgrid All-Ireland U-20 football final following a powerful 2-14 to 1-10 victory over Galway at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.

Despite getting off to the worst possible start Galway recovered well and kept in touch thanks to Brian Harlowe’s goal. Five unanswered points at the start of the second-half saw Galway draw level, but they would never lead in this game as Dublin qualified for the final where they will face either Cork or Tyrone.

Galway won the toss in Longford and elected to play with the stiff breeze, but they didn’t get the brisk start they required and after six minutes play they were 2-1 to 0-0 behind.

It was Archer who did all the damage in those early minutes with a third-minute free getting the Leinster champions off the mark, before Karl Lynch Bissett’s long diagonal ball was passed on to Archer by Brian O’Leary and the St Maur’s man blasted past Oran Burke into the top corner.

Archer was instrumental in Dublin’s provincial final success over Laois with a 3-8 tally for his side, and he added his second goal in as many minutes to put them seven points clear. Once again it was a long delivery from the left by Lynch Bissett that caused panic in the Galway defence, and after a gentle nudge on Seán Mulkerrin, Archer forced his way along the endline and tucked the ball past Burke once more.

Padraic Joyce’s side had started with an orthodox line-up in defence and he declined the opportunity to reinforce the back-line with a sweeper, and his choice paid off as his side began to find their feet. Wing back Liam Boyle was on song for the Tribesmen, while Harlowe laid on Galway’s first score for Tony Gill in the 13th minute. It was a vital score for Galway who quickly began to play their high intensity game and the chances began to flow.

But they were a little wasteful too in that tricky wind and tallied seven first-half wides, although Harlowe was bang on target in the 18th minute to close the gap to two points. The midfielder was involved in the move on three occasions, the final one being a cool side-foot finish to the top corner.

But the scores came easier to Dublin. Archer kicked a free and Ross McGarry kicked a couple of quick points for the Leinster side to restore their five-point lead in the 26thminute, but Galway stayed in touch with points from Matthew Tierney and Gill to leave it 2-6 to 1-4 at half-time.

Liam Costello was Galway’s inspiration in their Connacht final win over Mayo and from the start of the second-half he began to have a growing influence. A free from Padraig Costello was quickly added to by Gill – his third point from play – while Rory Cunningham and Padraig Costello added scores in the 35th and 40th minutes to close the gap to one point.

Cunningham drilled over a super point from the right, which drew Galway level in the 12th minute of the half, but after six straight score from the Tribesmen, an Archer free and a David Lacey point with his first touch gave Dublin a two-point lead at the end of the third quarter.

This time there was to be no Galway revival. Archer kicked his fifth point following a foul on James Doran, while Brian O’Leary kicked an excellent point on the turn to make it 2-10 to 1-9 with 11 minutes remaining.

Boyle got the point his performance deserved seven minutes from the end, but once David O’Hanlon denied Tierney with a brilliant reaction save a minute later Dublin had a straightforward canter to the win.

Scorers for Dublin: *Ciarán Archer 2-6 (4f), Ross McGarry 0-3, Brian O’Leary 0-2, David Lacey 0-1, Niall O’Leary 0-1, James Doran 0-1.

Scorers for Galway: Tony Gill 0-3, Padraig Costello 0-3 (2f), Brian Harlowe 1-0, Rory Cunningham 0-2, Matthew Tierney 0-1, Liam Boyle 0-1.

DUBLIN: David O’Hanlon; Darren Maher, Daire Newcombe, Neil Matthews; Kieran Kennedy, Eoin O’Dea, Seán Lambe; Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne, Donal Ryan; Niall O’Leary, Karl Lynch Bissett, James Doran; Brian O’Leary, Ciarán Archer, Ross McGarry. Subs: Aaron Lynch for Maher (44), David Lacey for Ryan (44), Harry Ladd for B O’Leary (63).

GALWAY: Oran Burke; Ross Mahon, Seán Mulkerrin, Eoghan McFadden; Liam Boyle, Ciarán Potter, Jack Kirrane; Matthias Barrett, Matthew Tierney; Brian Harlowe, Liam Costello, Tony Gill; Darragh Silke, Pádraig Costello, Rory Cunningham. Subs: Jack Glynn for Kirrane (7), Conor Newell for Harlowe (28), Conor Campbell for Potter (40), Mikey O’Brien for Glynn (48), Eoin Mannion for Gill (50), Ben O’Connell for L Costello (58).

Referee: Pádraig Hughes (Armagh)

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