Dublin booked their place in the Eirgrid U20 Leinster semi final after a fifteen point victory over winless Louth. Having beaten Wicklow in the opening round, no other side can match the young sky blues so they now top the group with a round to spare.
After Tom Matthews missed an early goal chance, Louth struggled for a foothold in the game but they can still go through to the knockout stages with a win over the aforementioned Garden County.
Played in the same flavour as Sunday’s league play off between the two counties, Louth sat deep, soaked up the pressure and engaged Dublin in the counter attacking template. Also like the senior team, the visitors startled brightly.
Harry Butterly gave Louth the lead from a ’45 and Luke Breathnach scored on Dublin’s first meaningful breach behind the Wee counties cover. Breathnach was in Dessie Farrell’s thoughts last season and we could well see the attacker later in the summer going by this showing.
Josh Finlay smothered Darragh Dempsey’s low shot but there would be no reprieve for Christy Grimes youngsters. The hosts struck seven points in a row. Dempsey registered an eye-catching mark before tapping over his first score.
With Breathnach showing his full array of wares from play and placed kicks, Louth’s defence was at sixes and sevens. Corner forward Joe Quigley made sure the inside line had all found the range in the opening half.
Louth, scrambling for oxygen, threw on some replacements in an effort to spark a reaction. One of those, forward Kyle McElroy landed two frees before half time to cut the gap to six points, 0-9 to 0-3 at half time.
Dublin very much resumed control after the break with captain Conor Dolan wiping out Dara McDonnell’s fine effort from the throw-in for the travelling men in red. Jim Lehane’s wing forward Tom Brennan fired two in a row as the contest began to peter out even at that initial stage.
Quigley’s 42nd penalty ended any hope Louth had of a comeback as the hosts ran out facile winners. Eye catching Breathnach adding a collection of marks off either foot while substitute Caelum Moriarty smashed home the final score.
K McElroy (2f) K McArdle (2f) 0-2 each, C Maher, D McDonnell and H Butterly (145) 0-1 each
L Breathnach 0-7 (3m, 1f), J Quigley 1-1(1-0pen, 1f), C Moriarty 1-0, T Brennan 0-3, D Dempsey 0-2, G McEneaney, S Smith, C Dolan 0-1 each
J Finlay; M Holohan, B Corrigan, F Tipping; C Maher, S Reynolds, T McDonnell; D McDonnell, S Callaghan; J Rogers, K McArdle, L Flynn; H Butterly, T Mathews, D Dorian.
C Taaffe for Flynn (24) K McElroy for Dorian (24), D Reilly for Butterly (47), B Gartlan for Maher (55)
A Smyth; E O'Connor Flanagan, T Clancy, E Nugent; A Gavin, J Cotter, D O'Leary; E Dunne, G McEneaney; C Dolan, L Ward, T Brennan; D Dempsey, L Breathnach, J Quigley.
M McDonald for Dunne (44), S Smith for Ward (47), C Moriarty for Brennan (52), K O''Brien for Breathnach (55), D McGrath for Cotter (57)
K O'Brien (Westmeath)