DUBLIN 1-17 WESTMEATH 1-8
Dublin’s minor hurlers booked their berth in the Leinster MHC final with this nine-point provincial semi-final victory at Cusack Park, Mullingar on Saturday afternoon.
Johnny McGuirk’s side will face Kilkenny, victors on Sunday over Laois (2-18 to 0-11) in their semi-final, in Croke Park on Sunday, July 5 (2.0).
Dublin started well with points form Gavin King (free), Gavin Burke and Mark Maguire to open up a 0-3 to 0-3 lead inside the opening six minutes.
By the 13th minute Dublin had moved 0-6 to 0-1 clear before being rocked by a Westmeath goal from Niall Mitchell and by the interval there was just two points separating the sides, 0-9 to 1-4.
However, Dublin put in a strong restart with the accuracy of Donal Burke to the fore.
Half-time sub Eoghan Dunne opened Dublin’s second half scoring account within a minute of the restart before Na Fianna clubman Burke, a member of last year’s team who is also eligible again for 2016, hit three points in succession (including two frees) to push Dublin 0-13 to 1-4 in front.
A 46th minute goal from Burke extended Dublin’s advantage when proding the sliotar home from close range to as good as secure victory especially with Westmeath being reduced to 14 men six minutes from time when Paddy Doody was dismissed.
SCORERS – Dublin: D Burke 1-5 (0-4f), M Oliver (0-3f), M Maguire 0-3 each, C Burke, G King (0-1f), E Conroy, E Dunne, A Mellett, C Ryan 0-1 each. Westmeath: N Mitchell 1-1 (0-f), C Doyle 0-4(0-4f), K Doyle 0-2, J Goonery 0-1.
DUBLIN: E Skelly; C Hendricken, C Brady, C Ryan; E Foley, P Smyth, S Hickey; M Oliver, F Whitely; E Conroy, M Maguire, D Burke; A Considine, C Burke, G King. Subs: E Dunne for King (ht), C Sammon for Oliver (39), D Butler for Hickey (41), A Mellett for C Burke (50), C Dowling for Maguire (54),