Deadly Dubs serve notice

Dublin advanced to the semi-finals of the All-Ireland MFC following a facile 11-point victory over Monaghan at Páirc Esler, Newry last night.

The Dubs impressed from the opening whistle and enjoyed an early lead thanks to a fine point from dual player Eric Lowndes.

That advantage was doubled in the second minute when towering midfielder Shane Carthy raced through unopposed to score and the same player converted a long-distance free two minutes later to leave three points between the sides.

The procession toward the Monaghan goal was briefly interrupted and Lorcan Molloy was called upon to parry a Kevin O’Hanlon shot to safety in the sixth minute as the Ulsterman made an all too rare foray into opposition territory.

Dublin maintained their early dominance with Lowndes adding a second from play three minutes later and a Cormac Costello point in the 12th minute ensured Dublin enjoyed a five-point lead by the end of the first quarter.

Despite their supremacy, the Dubs allowed their opponents to play their way into contention and they opened their account in the 20th minute when captain Pádraic Keenan converted a close-in free.

James McElroy registered Monaghan’s first point from play four minutes later but despite being wasteful in front of goal, Dublin regained their five-point advantage through scores from David Campbell and Costello.

The half ended in controversy as a fine move involving Lowndes and Gavin Burke ended in Campbell flicking to the net but referee Derek O’Mahoney disallowed the goal after a brief consultation with his umpires.

The second half mirrored the Dublin dominance of the opening period, with Carthy and Burke bursting clear with increasing regularity and the latter adorned an exceptional second-half display with four classy points from play.

Although Keenan and Conor McGeough kept the scoreline respectable, Monaghan never looked likely in mounting a comeback and their fate was sealed in the 44th minute as Stephen Cunningham bundled home Costello’s delivery from close range.

Scorers for Dublin: C Costello, G Burke 0-4, S Carthy 0-3 (1f), Stephen Cunningham 1-0, E Lowndes 0-2, D Campbell, N Walsh, M MacDonncha 0-1 each.

Scorers for Monaghan: P Keenan 0-4 (2f), J McElroy, D McAllister (1f), F McGeough, C McCarthy 0-1each.

DUBLIN: L Molloy; R McGowan, D Byrne, E Mullan; M MacDonncha, C Mulally, E Lowndes; Stephen Cunningham, S Carthy; R Gaughan, C Costello, N Walsh; N Scully, D Campbell, G Burke.

Subs: Shane Cunningham for Gaughan (26), C McHugh for Campbell (37), E Fletcher for Mullan (50), T Quinn for Walsh (57), S McGrath for Scully (59).

MONAGHAN: C Forde; S Conlon, S Buckley, B Greenan; M Magee, P Keenan, F Malone; B Hanratty, J McElroy; R McAnespie, C McCarthy, R Wylie; D Ward, D McAllister, K O’Hanlon.

Subs: F McGeough for O’Hanlon (28), D Kirk for Forde and A Kieran for Ward (h-t), L Smyth for McAllister (48), D McElroy for J McElroy (57).

Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary).

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