Full-time, Dublin 2-22, Louth 0-12
Easy does it for Dublin as they jog their way into the 2012 championship. The champions blitzed a Louth team that were outmatched physically and whose tactics of taking the ball into the tackle and playing just one man as an inside forward never worked. Little learned at Croke Park then.
16.08 – The All Ireland champions are back. First up, some team news and we are hearing Denis Bastick is in for Michael Darragh Macauley in the Dublin midfield. Also, Darren Clarke is doubtful and we won’t know for a few minutes if he’ll be given the nod. That would be a crushing blow for a Louth side we hold out little hope for.
16.09 – Wondering why we are so down on Louth. Here’s some pre-game reading courtesy of our preview. http://thescore.thejournal.ie/dublin-v-louth-a-glimpse-of-the-future-is-all-thats-worth-watching-471620-Jun2012/
16.12 – On a side note, poor crowd and this game should be in O’Moore Park. Everyone would win that way.
16.14 – Elsewhere at half-time, it’s Down 1-6 to 0-3 (that’ll do nicely for our -2 bet on the visitors to Brewster Park) while London lead Leitrim 1-7 to 0-9 in Ruislip (that won’t do so nicely given we are on Leitrim for the win). As for here, Dublin for first goal?
16.19 – But back to the action here in Croke Park, and Hill 16 could be interpreted as being named after the number of people standing on it as opposed to the Easter Rising.
16.21 – An update on that Darren Clarke situation, he will start. With that, here are the teams…
DUBLIN S Cluxton; P McMahon, R O’Carroll, M Fitzsimons; J McCarthy, G Brennan, K Nolan; E Fennell, D Bastick; B Cullen, A Brogan, P Flynn; D Connolly, K McManamon, B Brogan.
LOUTH N Gallagher; P Rath, D Finnegan, G Hoey; R Finnegan, J Carr, D Byrne; P Keenan, R Carroll; D Crilly, M Brennan, A Reid; D Maguire, J McEneaney, D Clarke.
16.25 – Teams finishing warm-ups here but there’s a game nearly over in Ruislip. London 1-7 Leitrim 0-10 with two minutes to go.
16.29 – Nearly underway here as the national anthem plays. Peter Fitzpatrick has talked the talk. Now let’s see his walk. For the record, we are going for an easy win for the home team, by eight or nine points, and we expect you can get on with your Sunday knowing who has won after about 40 minutes.
16.31 – Referee is Laois man Eddie Kinsella and he throws the ball in. We are go…
16.33 – 1 minute, Dublin 0-0 Louth 0-1: We talked about Dublin’s discipline and how they need to improve. Well there’s clumsy tackle from the off and Darren Clarke puts the free over. Elsewhere, Leitrim have escaped Ruislip, winning by the minimum via a late, late point.
16.36 – 4 minutes, Dublin 0-2 Louth 0-1: Stephen Cluxton picks up where he left off last championship and hammers a 45 between the posts. Diarmuid Connolly follows it up with another score. It’ll be interesting to see if he can find consistency and play a lead role now the Brogans are back. That’s one of the key questions when discussing Dublin’s defence.
16.38 – Busy start from Cluxton. Great save from Adrian Reid who found an open alley to goal and then the goalkeeper pulls Darren Clarke’s subsequent 45 down from over his bar.
16.41 – 9 minutes, Dublin 0-3 Louth 0-1: If Louth are to get inside even the large handicap, they cannot do that. They give the ball away on their way out of defence – and that wasn’t even down to Dublin’s renowned physicality in the tackle and turnover skills – and Paul Flynn flicks it over.
16.43 – 10 minutes, Dublin 0-4 Louth 0-1: They can’t do that either as Padraig Rath awkwardly bundles Bernard Brogan over and the former Footballer of the Year pops it over himself. Already there’s a gap building.
16.45 – Fermanagh 1-4 Down 1-8 in the north. Galway cruising past Westmeath in the hurling.
16.47 – 15 minutes, Dublin 0-5 Louth 0-1: Bernard and Alan Brogan combine and the former finishes. Dublin playing with the pace and boldness that Louth promised us. They are winning almost every match-up and the underdogs are struggling with the physicality and accuracy of passing of their opponents.
16.49 – 17 minutes, Dublin 0-6 Louth 0-1: It’s not helping that Louth are carrying the ball into the tackle which is complete suicide. Their shot selection is poor and rushed too. Diarmuid Connolly at the other end gets his second. We’ve reached the quarter mark and this is over.
16.53 – If there are any sadomasochism conventions around Dublin today wondering what to do, we suggest getting to Croke Park as quick as possible.
16.57 – 24 minutes, Dublin 0-8 Louth 0-2: Eddie Kinsella took pity on Louth there, giving them a soft free. Darren Clarke pops it over, his side’s first score for 23 minutes. Louth playing with one man in the full-forward line which is as odd as it is ineffective. Meanwhile Stephen Cluxton gets his second. That the Dublin goalkeeper has scored as much as the opposition says it all. There’s Bryan Cullen with another.
17.04 – 32 minutes, Dublin 0-9 Louth 0-3: Darren Clarke’s third, Louth’s third, all frees. You can’t see them get a score any other way. No such problems for Dublin as Louth turn it over and Paul Flynn sends it over from downtown. You have to say, Dublin’s build-up play and the timing of the runner coming onto the ball is really good but there aren’t being challenged.
17.06 – 34 minutes, Dublin 1-10 Louth 0-3: That summed up Dublin. Bryan Cullen blocks a shot-range Paddy Keenan shot at one end and within 30 seconds, via three passes, Bernard Brogan has the ball in the net. Bryan Cullen shovels some salt into a huge wound.
17.08 – 32 minutes, Dublin 2-11 Louth 0-3: Of course that goal means all of my GAA bets have now come off and there’s nothing to interest me in this game anymore. But I’ve been paid to do a job so there’s a Kevin McManoman point and another Bernard Brogan goal.
17.10 – Half-time, Dublin 2-11 Louth 0-3: What can you say. Dublin are as good as Louth are atrocious . We are off for a coffee that is out of necessity rather than pleasure.
17.25 – Louth back out for the second half. Dublin aren’t. Really, there’s no need for a rousing half-time speech. Get them out here and get this over with.
17.32 – 38 minutes, Dublin 2-13 Louth 0-3: Craig Dias on for Dublin and gets a score within 18 seconds of the restart. A thought we had over coffee and Skittles at the break – which we hope will get us through this second period. This just goes to show the gap between the mid-tier teams and the elite that we’ve been harping on about regularly. In the meantime, a Bernard Brogan point there, that’s 2-3 for him while looking rusty.
17.34 – 40 minutes, Dublin 2-14 Louth 0-3: Alan Brogan scores and that means all six of Dublin’s forwards have now been on target from play and there’s still a half hour left.
17.37 – 42 minutes, Dublin 2-14 Louth 0-4: Darren Clarke’s fourth free, accounting for his side’s entire tally. And there’s a fifth from the corner-forward via the same method. Dublin have eased back here and you can’t blame them.
17.40 – 45 minutes, Dublin 2-15 Louth 0-6: Ronan Carroll gets his side’s first point from play. Oddly enough he and Paddy Keenan – while hardly outstanding – have been okay around the middle. At the other end, good score from Kevin McManoman. Accurate, but no pressure on him, mentally or physically.
17.43 – 48 minutes, Dublin 2-16 Louth 0-6: This time it’s Alan Brogan who scores. Kevin McManoman then drives wide from six yards. Should have buried it. Impossible to analyse this.
17.46 – 52 minutes, Dublin 2-16 Louth 0-7: Darren Clarke puts over a sideline ball like Maurice Fitzgerald in Thurles but that’s about all that’s reminiscent of that famous game. Meanwhile Eoghan O’Gara is on from Paul Flynn. Dublin emptying the bench doesn’t bode well for Louth because the likes of O’Gara will be trying to play his way into the team.
17.52 – 58 minutes, Dublin 2-20 Louth 0-8: Adrian Reid and Bernard Brogan trade scores. A Kevin McManoman point follows when he might have goaled. Good goalkeeping though from Neil Gallagher who has had a decent game. Nothing he can do as Craig Dias raises another white flag. The umpire looks tired. Ross McConnell on for Eamonn Fennell who hasn’t been great. Jonny Cooper makes his debut too, leaving the bench and taking the place of Philip McMahon. Bernard Brogan with another point before those subs can draw breath.
17.57 – 63 minutes, Dublin 2-20 Louth 0-10: Darren Clarke puts over a free while Ray Finnegan sees a ball roll towards him on the ground 30 yards out and just hoofs it over the bar without even picking it up. A shot that suggested he’s completely fed up. Nice score though.
17.58 – Diarmuid Connolly, who else, in the middle of the only sliver of trouble we’ve had as he won’t get out of the way of a Paddy Keenan free. Not the cleverest thing to do given the throbbing vein on Keenan’s head.
18.01 – 67 minutes, Dublin 2-21 Louth 0-11: Denis Bastick has a shot on goal palmed over by the impressive Neil Gallagher while substitute JP Rooney gets one back. Nearly over, thank God.
18.06 – Full-time, Dublin 2-22, Louth 0-12: Kevin McManoman – who has been really good in terms of his runs, his distribution and his point taking, if not his goal finishing – gets another point and wraps up Dublin’s scoring. Darren Clarke wraps up all the scoring with his eighth of the game. It’s over. Hoorah!