Maher sparks Dublin into life as Midleton exit tamely

Dublin Colleges 1-13 Midleton CBS 0-10

Although Midleton led by 0-8 to 0-3 at half-time, with centre-forward Robert White chalking up some excellent scores, it was obvious from an early stage that the Cork students would have it all to do to survive this acid semi-final test.

Indeed, it took a superb save from the outstanding Ciaran Cronin to deny Paul Ryan a goal for Dublin in the 12th minute and although Midleton held the upper hand on the scoreboard, they were fortunate to have done so because the Leinster representatives wasted a succession of gilt-edged scoring opportunities.

Ten wides in the opening half, some from very scorable positions, painted a somewhat frustrating picture for an overall superior Dublin side that really got its act together with the aid of a strong wind following the change of ends.

Ross O'Carroll reduced Midleton's lead to four points minutes after the break but an Eoin O'Keeffe strike in the 40th minute gave Midleton cause for hope and re-established their five point advantage.

However, Dublin took the game by the scruff of the neck and proceeded to shatter the heady ambitions of the Munster champions with a succession of scores that tore the heart out of Midleton's challenge for a place in the Croke Cup final.

Five points without reply from half-time substitute Joe Maher, O'Carroll, Shane O'Rourke, Denis Kelly, and Maher again brought the sides level and then a rampant Dublin side edged in front for the first time with a Johnny Cooper point.

Midleton were now hanging on by their fingertips and their outstanding goalkeeper Cronin once again came to their rescue when he excellently blocked a penalty conversion attempt from Ryan.

Undeterred by this temporary setback, and the fact that their wing-forward Cian McBride then picked up his second yellow card, Dublin increased their lead with further points from the impressive O'Carroll and super sub Maher.

Midleton's only tangible retaliation was a pointed free from White, who scored seven of his side's 10 points (five from frees), and the game was put way beyond their reach three minutes from time when Ryan capped a Dublin victory with a superb goal.

Scorers: Dublin Colleges: P Ryan 1-0, R O'Carroll 0-3, J Maher 0-3 (0-1 free, 0-1 65), S Murphy 0-2 (0-1 free 0-1 65), J Cooper 0-2, C McBride, S O'Rourke, D Kelly 0-1 each. Midleton CBS: R White 0-7 (0-5 frees), B Lawton, E O'Keeffe, E Walsh 0-1 each.

DUBLIN COLLEGES: S Lambert, S Murphy, P Callaghan, M Brannigan, B Treacy, C Connolly, J Sheanon, S O'Rourke, D Connolly, C McBride, P Brennan, R O'Carroll, D Kelly, J Cooper, P Ryan. Subs: J Maher for Brennan, M May for Kelly.

MIDLETON CBS: C Cronin, A Walsh, A Kearney, K Fogarty, S Murphy, P O'Sullivan, P O'Shea, B Lawton, J Keane, D Ahern, R White, O Walsh, L O'Farrell, E O'Keeffe, F Day. Sub: J O'Donnell for O'Shea.

Referee: Michael Haverty (Galway).

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