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U21 hurlers find way past tough Westmeath test

U21 hurlers find way past tough Westmeath test

Wed, 13th June 2018


Dublin under-21 hurlers came from four points in arrears at half-time to beat Westmeath in Wednesday night’s EIrGrid Leinster U21HC quarter-final at Cusack Park, Mullingar.

The hosts led 1-9 to 1-5 at the break but Dublin eventually found their scoring touch in the nick of time to book a provincial semi-final berth against Wexford on June 20. Kilkenny face Galway, victors over Offaly also on Wedesday night, in the other Leinster U21HC semi-final.

Two minutes into the second half Dublin senior Donal Burke, on his return from injury, grabbed his second goal.

But entering the final ten minutes Westmeath still led 1-12 to 2-8 before a Fergal Whitley point brought the sides level.

Dublin had a Colin Currie goal ruled out for a foul on the keeper but Dublin kept going and points from Donal Burke (two) and sub Currie, following hard graft by Fergal Whitely, put them 2-12 to 1-12 clear with five to play.

Ronan Hayes added an ‘insurance point’ as the game moved into added time.

Westmeath led 1-9 to 1-5 at the half-time interval after the Dubs had missed a succession of point scoring opportunities, from placed balls especially.

The hosts got off to the ideal start with a Killian Doyle goal inside two minutes.

Two Ciarán Doyle points, one from a sideline, extended Westmeath’s advantage before Dublin registered their opening score.

That was a Donal Burke goal in the fifth minute following a high ball into the danger area from Eoghan Dunne.

A Burke free closed the gap before Doyle, from halfway, pushed Westmeath two points clear again.

The counties swapped scores with Eoghan Conroy, Killian Doyle (free), Ronan Hayes and then frees from Killlian Doyle and Ciarán Doyle left Westmeath 1-6 to 1-3 in front.

Ciarán Dowling, who had now taken over the freetaking duties for the Dubs, scored from play following good play from Burke.

But it was Westmeath who concluded the half on top with points from Ciarán Doyle and a free in injury-time from his twin Killian.

SCORERS - Dublin: D Burke 2-3 (0-1f), C Dowling 0-4 (0-1f, 0-1‘65’), R Hayes, F Whitely 0-2 each, E Conroy, C Currie 0-1 each. Westmeath: K Doyle 1-7 (0-7f), C Doyle 0-6 (0-1f, 0-1 sideline).

DUBLIN: D Perry; D Ryan, P Smyth, S Howard; E Conroy, C Burke, D Gray; F Whitely, L Gannon; C Dowling, E Dunne, R Hayes; C O’Sullivan, D Burke, P Crummey. Subs: C Ryan for Gannon (23), C Currie for Dunne (ht), C Costello for O’Sullivan (47), J McVeigh for Howard (58), A Mellett for Dowling (63).

WESTMEATH: B McHugh; N McKenna, K Regan, S Lancaster; J Rabbitte, C Kane, D Reilly; P Maxwell, C McCrossan; E Keyes, K Doyle, N Mitchell; J Goonery, C Doyle, F Heeney. Subs: P Doody for Heeney (inj, 7), J McCarthy for Doody (42), E Ahearn for Keyes (42).

REF: J Heffernan (Wexford).

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