Leinster U-21 HC: Dublin edge out Westmeath
Bord Gáis Energy Leinster U-21 Hurling Championship
DUBLIN 2-13 WESTMEATH 1-13
By Conor McKenna at Cusack Park, Mullingar
Dublin booked their place in the Leinster semi-final, after a 2-13 to 1-13 victory over Michael Ryan’s Westmeath outfit, with the visitors full value for their three point success.
Westmeath were far too reliant on the Doyle twins Killian and Ciaran who accounted for all of Westmeath’s 1-13 throughout the game.
Westmeath had a dream start to the game with a goal from Killian in the second minute, who finished emphatically to the back of the net.
Doyle’s twin brother Ciaran then added an excellent score from a side-line cut from an acute angle, before the same player added a further score shortly after.
Donal Burke then opened Dublin's account with a goal, before a free from the same player left the gap at one point.
Ciaran Doyle and Eoghan Conroy traded scores, before a free from Killian Doyle gave Westmeath a two point advantage.
A monster free from Ciaran Doyle gave Westmeath a three point lead, but Ciaran Dowling kept the gap close with two points.
Two points from the Doyle twins gave Westmeath a four point advantage at half time, with the scoreboard reading 1-9 to 1-5 in favour of the hosts at the interval.
Dublin were a different outfit in the second half and Donal Burke opened the second half scoring in the 33rd minute with a goal, after a great catch from the Dublin forward.
Killian Doyle gave his side a bit of breathing room with a 34th minute free, but Ciaran Dowling responded with a free for the visitors.
Dublin midfielder Fergal Whitely levelled procedures, before Killian Doyle restored his sides advantage.
Ciaran Doyle gave the hosts the lead with a 49th minute point, but five scores in a row from the Metropolitans gave Dublin a four point lead with time almost up.
Killian Doyle’s late free was no more than consolation, as Paul O’Brien’s side held on for a three point victory.
Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke 2-3 (1f), Ciaran Dowling 0-4, Ronan Hayes (2f, 1 “65”) and Fergal Whitely 0-2 each, Colin Currie and Eoghan Conroy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Westmeath: Killian Doyle 1-7 (7f), Ciaran Doyle 0-6 (1 s/l, 1f).
DUBLIN: Dara Perry; Donnacha Ryan, Paddy Smyth, Shane Howard; Eoghan Conroy, Conor Burke, Daire Gray; Fergal Whitely, Lee Gannon; Ciaran Dowling, Eoghan Dunne, Ronan Hayes; Cian O'Sullivan, Donal Burke, Paul Crummey. Subsused: Conor Ryan for Lee Gannon (23), Colin Currie for Eoghan Dunne (h-t) Cillian Costello for Cian O’Sullivan (47), Jack McVeigh for Shane Howard (59), Aidan Mellett for Ciaran Dowling (63).
WESTMEATH: Brian McHugh; Naoise McKenna, Kevin Regan, Sean Lancaster; Joe Rabbitte, Conor Kane, Darragh Reilly; Plunkett Maxwell, Conor McCrossan; Eoin Keyes, Killian Doyle, Ciaran Doyle; Jimmy Goonery, Niall Mitchell, Fiachra Heeney. Subsused: Paddy Doody for Fiachra Heeney (7), Eoghan Ahearn for Paddy Doody (42), John McCarthy for Eoin Keyes (42)
Referee: Justin Heffernan (Wexford).