LYNCH IMPRESSES AS GAVIN’S DUBS OUTSHINE STARS
Boys in blue have too much firepower in high-scoring end of season challenge
DUBLIN BUS/HERALD DUBS STARS SF
DUBS STARS FOOTBALL……….1-14
OISIN Lynch and Conor McHugh amassed a combined haul of 3-8 at Pairc Barrog on Saturday to propel All-Ireland champions Dublin towards an emphatic triumph in the annual Dublin Bus/Herald Dubs Stars Football Challenge.
Despite the admirable resistance of Kevin McManamon, Sean Bugler and Ryan Basquel for their opponents, the Sky Blues had 11 points to spare at the end of a fast-paced encounter.
Alongside Lynch and McHugh, Cormac Howley and Cormac Diamond also provided Dublin boss Jim Gavin with food for thought heading into a hectic 2019.
With six All-Ireland SFC titles to his name, Kevin McManamon was the star attraction in the Dubs Stars squad – which included six players from club champions Kilmacud Crokes. Former inter-county stalwarts Tomas Quinn and Ger Brennan also made appearances off the bench in the second-half, having recently added an Adult Football League Division One crown to an impressive list of career honours.
While Gavin opted for a largely experimental line-up, senior panellists Andy Bunyan, Conor Mullally and McHugh were given a chance to shine in the Kilbarrack venue. The latter traded points with McManamon early on, before Dublin conjured three points in quick succession through Diamond, Lynch and Howley.
McManamon dissected the posts with a superb strike on the left-wing, but the opening goal of the contest arrived courtesy of Lynch’s close-range finish in the 13th-minute. The Stars offered a temporary release to their under siege defence with a brace of Ryan Basquel points – only for Dublin to respond in clinical fashion. Either side of Howley and McHugh points, Lynch fired an unstoppable shot beyond the reach of netminder David Nestor.
The Stars gained a potential lifeline on 28 minutes, however, when Stephen Smith capitalised on hesitancy inside the Dublin full-back line to set-up Micheal McCarthy for a much-desired three-pointer.
Yet, it was McHugh who had the final say in a frenetic first-half. His sublime chip over the stranded Nestor produced a third major for Gavin’s outfit and consequently established a 3-9 to 1-4 interval cushion.
On the resumption, towering full-forward Jack Hazley got his account up an running with a 0-2 salvo – while Diamond (two), McHugh and Lynch enhanced their own personal tallies to leave all of 17 points between the sides.
To the credit of the Stars (managed on the day by Crokes duo of Jonathan Magee and Robbie Brennan), they persevered with their challenge.
Bugler, Shane Horan, Stephen Smith and McManamon all finding the target in a strong purple patch. Aaron Byrne and Howley efforts ensured Dublin remained firmly in control, though their momentum was halted by another Stars scoring blitz.
Basquel, McManamon, Ger Brennan and St Jude’s wing-back Tom Lahiff split the posts to round off intricate attacking moves. Basquel and McManamon recorded four points apiece over the hour, but with Lynch and Hazley pointing in the dying moments, Dublin brought the curtain down on another outstanding season of success.
Scorers – Dublin: O Lynch 2-3, C McHugh 1-5 (0-2f), C Howley 0-4, C Diamond, J Hazley 0-3 each, A Byrne 0-1. Dubs Stars Football: K McManamon, R Basquel 0-4 each, M McCarthy 1-0, S Bugler 0-2, T Lahiff, S Horan, S Smith, G Brennan 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: A Bunyan (Scoil Ui Chonaill); R McDaid (Ballyboden St Enda’s), S McMahon (Raheny), CJ Smith (Lucan Sarsfields); R Gaughan (Ballinteer St John’s), C Mullally (Cuala), D Monaghan (Clontarf); C Howley (Round Tower Lusk), D Gavin (Lucan Sarsfields); C Diamond (St Vincent’s), A Byrne (Na Fianna), S Boland (Castleknock); O Lynch (Fingallians), J Hazley (St Sylvester’s), C McHugh (Na Fianna). Subs: M Shields (St Sylvester’s), N Doran (Clontarf), E Finn (RT Clondalkin), C Murphy (Thomas Davis).
DUBS STARS FOOTBALL: D Nestor; L Flatman, A McGowan (all Kilmacud Crokes), A Fallon (Thomas Davis); C O’Connor (Kilmacud Crokes), C Guckian, T Lahiff (both St Jude’s); A Waters (Ballyboden St Enda’s), M Sweeney (St Jude’s); S Horan (Kilmacud Crokes), S Bugler (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh), K McManamon (St Jude’s); S Smith (Skerries Harps), R Basquel (St Jude’s), M McCarthy (St Sylvester’s). Subs: L Mailey (St Jude’s), G Brennan (St Vincent’s), M McCarthy (St Sylvester’s), R Ryan (Kilmacud Crokes).
MENTORS – Dublin: J Gavin, P Clarke, S O’Hanlon. Dubs Stars: J Magee, R Brennan.
Referee: Sean McCarthy (St Vincent’s).
WIDES – Dublin: 4 (2+2). Dubs Stars Football: 7 (4+3).
CONDITIONS: Bright and breezy with sunny intervals.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Oisin Lynch (Dublin).