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Cunningham’s Dubs finish with a flourish

Cunningham’s Dubs finish with a flourish

Mon, 2nd January 2017


Dublin finished stronger to defeat the Dubs Stars hurlers in the annual Dublin Bus/Herald challenge in Parnell Park on Sunday afternoon.

In a well contested duel Dublin outscored the Stars 0-7 to 0-1 in the concluding 15 minutes to see Ger Cunningham's selection ease home by five points.

It was a very youthful selection that gave action to minors of 2016 such as Paddy Smyth, Conor Burke, James Holland (minor footballer in 2016), Donal Burke, Ciarán Dowling and Johnny McGuirk junior.

St Vincent's man Conor Burke particularly caught the eye in an all-action performance that saw him strike three points from play as well as getting through a lot of work before being withdrawn in the second half.

His Vinnies club-mate Tomás Connolly, younger brother of Dublin footballers Diarmuid, did well at full-forward for the Dubs and his direct running caused problems for the Dubs Stars defence while the introduction of Fergal Whitely in the second half was central to Dublin's victory as he picked off three vital scores.

Dublin v Dubs Stars – Hurling Challenge

There was several strong showings from the Dubs Stars also with Alex Quinn tallying 1-4 from play.

Dublin begin their Bord na Mona Walsh Cup campaign on Wednesday night against Carlow in Parnell Park.

Dublin led 0-5 to 0-1 after 12 minutes but only added two more points for the remainder of the half.

Quinn’s goal before half-time put the Dubs Stars 1-8 to 0-7 ahead at the break.

Further points from Quinn and Robbie Mahon, from host club Craobh Chiaráin, put the Dubs Stars six clear early in the second-half.

However, Dublin battled their way back to run out five-point winners against the Dubs Stars who lined out without the Cuala contingent as they prepare for their All-Ireland club SHC semi-final against Derry's Slaughtneil on February 25.

“We are all supporting Cuala in their efforts to win the All-Ireland Championship,” said Ger Cunningham afterwards.

Looking ahead to the Walsh Cup he added: “We have three competitive games coming up in the Walsh Cup against Carlow, UCD and Wexford. We won’t have the Cuala and colleges lads, and, overall, we’ll be missing about 20 players.

“Yet that gives other fellas the chance to put their hand up. And it will be good to see them. We have a large training panel. It includes seven of last year’s minor squad.

“Dublin reached the All-Ireland U21 Championship semi-final, so these are the fellas we have been looking at.

“We looked at a lot of the club championship matches and players also impressed us there, so now they are getting their chance.”

Dublin face Carlow this Wednesday night in Parnell Park (7.30) as they open their Walsh Cup campaign.

SCORERS - Dublin:S Ó Riain 1-3 (0-1f), T Connolly 0-4, C Burke, F Whitely 0-3 each, C Conway, AJ Murphy 0-2 each, F MacGibb, D Burke (65) 0-1 each. Dubs Stars: A Quinn 1-4, O O’Rorke 0-4 (0-2f), D Fox, J McManus 0-2 each, R Mahon, C Costello 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: J Treacy; M Kavanagh, P Smyth, M McCallion; F Ó Rian Broin, M McCaffrey, C Mac Gabhann; C Conway, AJ Murphy; C Burke, S Ó Riain, J Holland; C Maher, T Connolly, A Moore. Subs: F Whitely for Conway (ht), F MacGibb for C Burke (40), D Burke for Holland (48), B Quinn for Murphy (51), C Dowling for Mac Gabhann (52), J McGuirk for Connolly(56).

DUBS STARS: B McLoughlin; N Corcoran, R Walsh, J Bellew; C Murphy, C Crummey, R Mahon; C Costello, D Fox; R O’Carroll, J McManus, F Heavey; K O’Reilly, O O’Rorke, A Quinn. Subs: E Skelly for McLoughlin (ht), E Sheehy for Walsh (ht), R Hayes for Costello (ht), G King for Heavey (ht), S O’Dwyer for O’Reilly (46), P Crummey for McManus (49).

REF: S Stack (Parnell’s).

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