DUBLIN 2-13 ANTRIM 0-12
Anthony Daly’s Dublin got their 2011 campaign off to a winning start when they overcame Antrim in Sunday’s Walsh Cup semi-final at Parnell Park. The Dubs will enjoy home advantage when they face Galway in their semi-final next weekend with Laois and Kilkenny playing in the other semi-final.
This was classic early season stuff with both sides still finding their feet and touch as the Allianz Leagues approach. Dublin were slow to get going and did not score until the 24th minute when David O’Callaghan was in the right place at the right time to poach a goal to bring the sides level 1-0 to 0-3.
The Dubs had several goal-scoring opportunites prior to O’Callaghan’s close range finish but in Antrim No 1 Chris O’Connell met a keeper in inspired mood. He saved a fifth minute penalty from Conal Keaney, denied O’Callaghan a minute later and Conor McCormack could fair no better in the ninth minute when O’Connell repelled his goalbound drive.
Four minutes from the interval the Glensman was again producing heroics when he denied Peadar Carton in a one-on-one situation and by the break Dublin led 1-4 to 0-5. Two minutes into the second half good skill from Ryan O’Dwyer opened the door for McCormack to round O’Connell and finish to the net.
Shane Ryan showed signs that he is finding his touch and finished with a tally of three points from play while Conal Keaney was brave and clever in possession for the most part. At the back Stephen Hiney bossed the edge of the square with Simon Lambert and Shane Durkin hurling a lot of ball.
SCORERS – Dublin: C Keaney 0-4 (0-3f), D O’Callaghan 1-1, S Ryan 0-3, C McCormack 1-0, D O’Dwyer 0-2, S Durkin, J McCaffrey (‘65′), C Clinton 0-1 each. Antrim: N McManus 0-7 (0-6f), M Herron, K McKeague, M Armstrong, C McGuinness, L Kearns 0-1 each.
DUBLIN – G Maguire; S Lambert, S Hiney, R Trainor; N Corcoran, J Boland, S Durkin; J McCaffrey, M O’Brien; C McCormack, R O’Dwyer, S Ryan; D O’Callaghan, C Keaney, P Carton. Subs: D O’Dwyer for R O’Dwyer (52), D Plunkett for Carton (52), M Quilty for Boland (52), L Ryan for McCormack (66), C Clinton for O’Brien (66).
ANTRIM – C O’Connell; A Graffin, C Donnelly, C McKinley; K McKeague, M Herron, N McAuley; S McNaughton, P McNaughton; N McManus, M Armstrong, T McCann; D Hamill, C Carson, C McGuinness. Subs: J Dillon for McGuinness (21, inj), C Herron for P McNaughton (ht), K McKeegan for S McNaughton (46), J Black for McCann (49).
REF – S Whelan (Wexford).