Classy Dubs stroll into semis

DEFENDING Under 21 hurling champions Dublin could afford to hit 21 wides yet secure a comfortable four goal win over hosts Carlow in this Leinster quarter-final tie at Dr Cullen Park last evening.

Carlow’s Daryl Roberts opened the scoring with a point from play on two minutes as Dublin, playing with the aid of the wind, dominated but struck seven wides before midfielder Barry Mulligan levelled matters on 13 minutes.

With the score on 0-3 apiece on 19 minutes a long free from Dublin full forward Seán McGrath was dropped by a Carlow player only for Dublin intercounty player Liam Rushe to net the Dubs first goal. At half-time Dublin led 1-6 to 0-4, with 14 wides recorded.

Carlow’s hopes of victory were scotched by a 37th minute goal from the visitors’ forward Kevin O’Loughlin (2-9 to 0-6) followed immediately when a close-range free for Carlow was blocked on the line by the Dublin defence.

For the balance of play it was a stroll for the holders as they ran in five substitutes, with sub Ciarán Brennan grabbing a brace of goals to wrap up victory.

Dublin, a class above their opponents, now move on to meet Offaly in the provincial semi-final and — the big wides tally apart — look a formidable side.

Liam Rushe was the game’s outstanding player while Martin Quilty, Danny Sutcliffe, Kevin O’Loughlin, Eamon Dillon and half-time substitute Mark Schutte were also impressive. Carlow’s major fault line was in attack with only three points coming from play — midfielder Paul Coady notched 0-8 from placed balls.

Scorers for Dublin: K O’Loughlin 1-2, C Brennan 2-0, L Rushe 1-1, D Dillon 0-3, S McGrath 0-2f, B Mulligan, M Schutte, R Mahon 0-1 each.

Scorers for Carlow: P Coady 0-8f, D Roberts, P Kehoe, E Byrne 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: G McManus; B O’Carroll, J Doughan, C Gough; D Curran, M Quilty, S O’Connor; D Sutcliffe, B Mulligan; D Plunkett, L Rushe, R Mahon; K O’Loughlin, S McGrath, E Dillon.

Subs: M Schutte for Mulligan (h/t); D Kelly for O’Connor (41); C Brennan for McGrath (44); F Clabby for O’Carroll (55); T Connolly for Dillon (58).

CARLOW: N Roberts; S Kelly, G Kelly, T Nolan; D English, J Corcoran, James Doyle; P Coady, P McElligot; John Doyle, E Byrne, D Murphy; D Roberts, C Lawlor, P Kehoe. Subs: G Bennett for McElligot (h/t); A McDonald for John Doyle (37); John Hughes for Kelly (55).

Referee: S Whelan (Wexford).

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