Jim Gavin is holidaying with his All-Ireland winning panel so Paul Clarke took charge of a Dubs development group that happily picked up the slack.
Fringe trio Conor McHugh, Paul Hudson and Michael Deegan formed a new look but effective full-forward line that yielded 1-10 at Parnell Park.
Niall Walsh was terrific at wing-forward and capped some excellent offensive and defensive work with a second-half point.
Evan Comerford did his chances of being Stephen Cluxton’s backup goalkeeper during the league no harm either with a penalty save and several good stops.
Subs Shane Cunningham and Gavin Ivory clipped over three points between them and will hope for inclusion against UCD on Wednesday.
“I’m really concerned that the gap is going to grow to such an extent that Dublin won’t get a game until they get to the All-Ireland quarter-finals and that could come back to haunt them,” said Sigerson Cup winning coach Moyna.
“Hopefully we will see big changes in Meath and with Cian O’Neill in Kildare I’d like to see that gap being bridged but I think it’s actually widening. It’s scary.”
Sigerson hopefuls DCU were favourites to scalp Dublin but trailed from pillar to post in a humdrum encounter.
Dublin led 1-9 to 0-5 at half-time despite hitting nine first-half wides.
Hudson nailed his goal in the 32nd minute after great work by Walsh while Deegan and McHugh split six early points evenly between them.
Sky Blues boss Clarke explained that he’s been working in the gym and on the field with the rookie group since early December and is in regular contact with Gavin.
“We’re in very close contact with the management,” said Clarke. “We had Ray Boyne doing our stats and analysis. He will put that together and pass it all on to Jim. The game was recorded and will probably be shared with Jim as well so he’d be well aware of everything going on.”
Dublin haven’t lost a game in all competitions since last year’s O’Byrne Cup semi-finals when they went down to Longford. Clarke was impressed with how his greenhorn group kept the winning record intact.
“It was a good performance, the starting 15 got into the game really well and played at a good pace and the subs that came on, the likes of Shane Cunningham and Gavin Ivory contributed well and the changes at midfield and in the half-backs sort of tightened things up too,” said Clarke, an All-Ireland medallist in 1995. “We were just really giving them simple instructions about how we see the game going.”
Both teams took advantage of the rule allowing unlimited substitutions in the competition. Dublin made seven on the day with DCU bringing on nine players. Moyna said it’s a great idea that should be written into rule permanently.
“With all the effort and time that guys are putting into it, only 15 can play — imagine if 30 could play,” said Moyna. “Obviously teams like Dublin and those with larger picks would have a huge advantage and that’s something they’d have to think about. But I think it’s something that probably will come in eventually.”
P. Hudson (1-3, 0-1 free), M. Deegan (0-4, 1 free), C. McHugh (0-3), S. Cunningham (0-2), J Whelan, N. Walsh and G. Ivory (0-1 each).
R. Burns (0-4, 4 frees), D. Mannix (0-2), D. Ward, E. O’Connor, M. Plunkett, C. Mulligan and T. O’Reilly (0-1 each).
E. Comerford; J. Smith, E. O’Brien, R. McGowan; B. Howard, C. Reddin, N. Scully; J. Whelan, R. Deegan; G. Sweeney, S. Boland, N. Walsh; P. Hudson, M. Deegan, C. McHugh.
G. Ivory for Hudson (46), T. Shiels for O’Brien (48), R. Gaughan for Walsh (52), S. Cunningham for McHugh (58), R. O’Brien for Boland (63), R. Hazley for Whelan (63), S. Newcombe for R. Deegan (70).
S. Mannion; E. Smith, D. O’Neill, B. Kerr; S. Lavin, K. Feely, D. Ward; C. McGonagle, H. McFadden; E. O’Connor, M. Plunkett, T. Lahiffe; D. Mannix, N. Murphy, R. Burns.
S. Carthy for Murphy (30), D. Neary for Ward (h/t), Eoghan Smyth for Mannix (h/t), C. Mulligan for Lahiffe (h/t), T. O’Reilly for O’Connor (60), M. Corcoran for Plunkett (60), B. Cawley for Eoin Smith (62), C. Doran for Kerr (69), T. Galligan for McGonagle (69).
C. Reilly (Meath).