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The Dublin players celebrate their Leinster Minor Football Final victory over Louth.
The Dublin players celebrate their Leinster Minor Football Final victory over Louth.

Dublin overpower Louth in Leinster MFC Final

Leinster Minor Football Championship Final

DUBLIN 2-19 LOUTH 0-12

By Paul Keane at Croke Park, Dublin

Early goals from James Madden and James Doran put Dublin on the road to a comfortable Leinster minor football final success at Croke Park.

Louth were competing in their first final since 1971 but were well beaten at Croke Park by a slick Dublin side possessing a dozen different scorers.

Doran finished with 1-1 while Ross McGarry and David Lacey contributed 0-7 between them as Tom Gray's side collected a 33rd minute title for the county.

Dublin clawed back a large deficit to overcome Meath after extra-time in their first game and have impressed since then with a 6-12 mauling of Longford and a five-point defeat of Kildare preceding this 13-point win.

Dublin's reward is an August 5 All-Ireland quarter-final clash with the Munster runners up while Louth have another opportunity when they play the Munster winners.

Louth hoped for a decent start to steady nerves in their first minor final appearance in almost half a century.

Yet they trailed by 2-3 to 0-1 before the game was even eight minutes old as Dublin opened up at a blistering pace.

Ross McGarry took just 19 seconds to open the scoring for Dublin with a point and doubled their advantage with a second, kicking scores off either foot.

Madden and Doran then struck goals within seconds of each other in the seventh minute.

Both players took off on lung bursting runs through the centre but while Madden shot low to the left corner of Dublin's goal, Doran's finish was a blasted left footed rocket to the roof of the net.

McGarry added his third point in the eighth minute and suddenly Dublin were eight points clear.

Dublin score again until the 21st minute as Louth opened up with their best passage of play and kicked three points in a row.

Ciaran Keenan converted back to back frees and Fearghal Malone clipped a neat point after good work by John Gallagher and Alan Connor.

But Dublin found their groove again in the closing 10 minutes of the half and outscored Louth by 0-8 to 0-1 to take a commanding lead.

They scored six points in a row to close out the half with David Lacey, Sean Hawkshaw and Eoin O'Dea all catching the eye as Dublin moved 2-11 to 0-5 clear.

Louth needed a miracle to rescue a result from the game but it never arrived as Dublin's defence held firm and restricted Wayne Kierans' side to just 0-2 from open play over the hour.

Dublin, for whom wing-back Kieran Kennedy was Player of the Match, took their foot off the gas in the second-half but could afford to do so with such a big lead.

They picked off enough points with the minimum of fuss to remain comfortably clear of a Louth side that never came close to grabbing the goals it needed to recover.

O'Dea and Doran added to their tallies in the second-half and there were also scores from substitutes Adam Byrne, Ciaran Archer and Luke Doran as they put forward their cases for starting spots next time out.

Scorers for Dublin: James Doran 1-1, David Lacey 0-4 (0-1f, 0-1 45), Ross McGarry 0-3, James Madden 1-0, Ciaran Archer 0-2 (0-1f), Sean Hawkshaw 0-2 (0-1f), Eoin O'Dea 0-2, Kieran Kennedy 0-1, Daniel Brennan 0-1, Mark Tracey 0-1, Adam Byrne 0-1, Luke Doran 0-1.

Scorers for Louth: John Gallagher 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 45), Ciaran Keenan 0-5 (0-5f), Fearghal Malone 0-1, Liam Jackson 0-1.

DUBLIN: David O'Hanlon; Darren Maher, Peadar O Cofaigh Byrne, Liam Flatman; Kieran Kennedy, Neil Matthews, Eoin O'Dea; Mark Tracey, Donal Ryan; Daniel Brennan, James Doran, James Madden; Ross McGarry, Sean Hawkshaw, David Lacey. Subs: Adam Byrne for Brennan (38), Ciaran Archer for Lacey (48), Aaron Lynch for Maher (51), Luke Doran for O'Dea (55), Karl Lynch Bissett for Tracey (56), Eoghan Joyce for Hawkshaw (58).

LOUTH: Alan McGauley; Alan Connor, Philip Trainor, Dan Corcoran; Leonard Grey, Eoghan Callaghan, James O'Reilly; Liam Jackson, Conor Morgan; Gerry Garland, Ciaran Keenan, Fearghal Malone; Ben Mooney, Conor Gillespie, John Gallagher. Subs: Adam Molloy for McGauley (20), Conor Nicholson for Malone (h/t), Shane Hickey for Morgan (37), Shane Byrne for Gillespie (49), Keelan O'Neill for Garland (51), Dean McGreehan for Grey (58).

Ref: Patrick Maguire (Longford).

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