Predatory Plunkett lands title for Dubs
Leinster U-21 HC Final
Second-half goals from Daire Plunkett and David Quinn proved crucial as Dublin claimed the provincial title following a six-point victory over an unlucky Wexford at Parnell Park last night.
The Dubs were indebted to a strong second-half display which made up for a nervous opening period, where they made far too many unforced errors, and a wide count of 15 over the hour will be a cause of concern for team manager Richie Stakelum.
Wexford, by contrast, were far more accomplished from the throw-in and registered their first score inside just 40 seconds through lively corner-forward Emmet Kent.
Dublin were living on scraps for the majority of the opening quarter and despite a Peter Kelly free, fell further behind as half-forwards Liam Óg McGovern and Shane Tomkins helped themselves to a brace of points apiece to put the Model County ahead by 0-6 to 0-2 at the end of the first quarter.
Dublin, minus dual star Rory O’Carroll, enjoyed more possession with the redeployment of Barry O’Rorke from corner-forward to midfield and closed the gap to a point by half-time with Niall McMorrow, Shane Stapleton and Plunkett all popping over crucial scores.
Plunkett and McMorrow pointed again on the resumption, but Tomkins was on hand to convert a number of frees as Dublin’s defending became increasingly ragged.
With improved levels of possession, Dublin took the lead for the first time on 50 minutes when David Treacy fed Plunkett, who raced through on goal, shrugging off two challenges before kicking home from close range.
Plunkett and Liam Rushe added points prior to Dublin’s vital second goal, when substitutes Ciaran Brennan, Aodhan McEnerney and David Quinn combined with Quinn sealing Dublin’s victory with a clinical finish on 59 minutes.
Scorers — Dublin: D Plunkett 1-3, S Stapleton (0-3f), D Treacy (0-2f), N McMorrow 0-3 each, D Quinn 1-0, P Kelly (0-1f), L Rushe, D Whelan 0-1 each. Wexford: S Tomkins 0-6 (0-4f), L Óg McGovern 0-4, E Kent 0-2, E Moore (0-1f), H Kehoe, J Leacy 0-1.
Dublin — F McGarry; R Walsh, D Kelly, O Gough; R O’Loughlin, M Quilty, P Kelly; C Clinton, P Buckeridge; S Stapleton, L Rushe, D Plunkett; B O’Rorke, D Treacy, N McMorrow. Subs: D Quinn for Stapleton (39), A McEnerney for Clinton (46), D Whelan for O’Loughlin (49), C Brennan for McMorrow (57).
Wexford — M Fanning; B McCormack, M O’Hanlon, E Doyle; S Murphy, A Shore, M O’Hanlon; E Moore, M O’Regan; L Óg McGovern, S Tomkins, H Kehoe; E Kent, J Gahan, J Reck. Subs: P Morris for Murphy (16), J Leacy for Reck (33), P Donnelly for O’Hanlon (53), T O’Leary for Kent (60).
ReF — D Connolly (Kilkenny).