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It’s Plunkett v Clarke as Dublin’s two sides collide in Celtic Challenge

It’s Plunkett v Clarke as Dublin’s two sides collide in Celtic Challenge

Tue, 21st May 2019

Dublin's two sides, Plunkett and Clarke, in this year's Bank of Ireland Celtic Hurling Challenge (U17) meet on Wednesday night in O'Toole Park (7.30) - it promises to be a very interesting duel.

Dublin Clarke hurlers enjoyed a 1-20 to 1-11 victory over Laois last Wednesday night at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise.

The opening half was evenly balanced with the Dubs taking a 0-11 to 0-8 lead into the interval after concluding the half on an upward curve with two late points.

Dublin Clarke improved in the second period when upping their intensity to take a greater control of the contest.

All six of Dublin's starting forwards got on the scoresheet over the course of the hour with Matthew Lynam influential with 1-3 from play.

Lynam's goal arrived 10 minutes from the end as Dublin Clarke outscored Laois 1-5 to 0-2 in the last quarter.

The Castleknock lad was selected for the Best and Fairest award by the match referee Richie Fitzsimons.

Ger Ryan, who was the Best and Fairest recipient in Clarke's previous game against Wexford, tallied 0-6 with Rory O'Neill and Jack Kielthy also doing well.

The previous Wednesday night Dublin Plunkett were edged out by Offaly, 2-12 to 2-10, in O'Connor Park, Tullamore.

The Dubs made a bright start with Eoin Wilde opening the scoring before Offaly clipped the next three scores.

Daniel Peel, who finished as Dublin Plunkett's top scorer with 1-5, closed the gap to one point after ten minutes.

Dublin Plunkett found their most productive passage over the following five minutes when recording two goal when Daniel Peel and Robert Burnett both rattled the Offaly net.

Just before the break Offaly breached the Plunkett defence for goal to leave the Dubs one point to the good at the half-time break, 2-3 to 1-5.

Plunkett extended their lead thanks to a Michael Mahon point on the restart.

The Dubs could have moved further in front as this well-contested game approached its conclusion to failed to turn possession into scores.

However, Dublin led 2-10 to 1-11 Eoin Wilde, Tomas Hegarty and Daniel Peel all on target.

Then in the final minutes an Offaly free from 50 metres out found its route all the way to the Dublin net. Before the finish Offaly sealed victory with a late, late free.

Dublin's Sean O'Brien was chosen as Dublin's Best and Fairest by the match referee.

On the same night Dublin Clarke lost to Wexford (2-15 to 1-12) in the Wicklow Centre of Excellence, Ballinakill with Ger Ryan being named Dublin's Best and Fairest by the match referee.

In their opening round of action Dublin Plunkett hurlers lost narrowly (0-20 to 2-12) to Wexford at the Wicklow Centre of Excellence, Ballinakill.

Playing against the wind in the first half Dublin found themselves down by four points inside the opening five minutes before a Sean Purcell goal, from close range, and David Keogh point brought the sides level.

As the half progressed the sides traded points for the following 15 minutes with good scores for Dublin Plunkett coming from Rhys McDonnell (0-2), Niall Fitzgibbon (0-1) and Sean Cooney (0-1).

However, leading up to the half-time interval the Slaneysiders crucially pulled clear points from JJ Twamley, Thomas Kinsella - a converted free and free from a penalty - Zach Breslin, Shem O'Hagan, Shane Flood and Liam Schokman to lead 0-14 to 1-5 at the break.

Dublin Plunkett restarted brightly with Rob Burnett firing over from play but the freetaking of Thomas Kinsella protected Wexford's lead.

The young Dubs rallied with of some top-class point-taking from Dublin’s Connell McGlynn, Daniel Peel, who finished with 1-4, and Sean O’Brien.

With just over ten minutes remaining Wexford still led by six points but Dublin Plunkett came roaring back into contention when Rob Burnett’s route to goal was stopped illegally and Daniel Peel clinically dispatched the resulting penalty to the net.

Daniel Peel added a point to leave just a point, 0-19 to 2-12, between the side with three minutes left.

Although Dublin did have some chances Wexford kept their nerve and sent a point over to put them back two points ahead and they held on.

Paddy Doyle (Dublin Plunkett) and Thomas Kinsella (Wexford) were chosen respectively for the Best and Fairest and Player of the Match awards by referee John Keenan.

The Celtic Challenge is an U17 tournament for non-leaving certificate students who are not in their county's minor panel. The Plunkett panel is comprised of the Dublin under-16 development squad excluding lads who have made the match-day 24 for minors in Leinster MHC.

Dublin Clarke, who had a bye on in the tournament's opening round, are U17 only hurlers who are either not on the minor panel or are on the minor panel but not included in the Leinster MHC match-day selection of 24 players.

The final group games are on Wednesday, June 5 when Dublin Plunkett encounter Laois in Abbottstown (8.0) while at the same time Dublin Clarke play Offaly.

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