Dublin u21's win All ireland

November 8, 2018


Jonny Cooper became only the second Dub ever to lift the Clarke Cup as captain of an All-Ireland U21FC final winning team at Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday night.

The game finished in high drama when Donegal were awarded an injury time penalty by referee Marty Duffy with Dublin hanging on with great determination to a two-point lead. Donegal senior Michael Murphy eventually stepped up to hit it but his thunderbolt crashed off the crossbar and was eventually cleared by the Dubs defence.

The characteristics of the Dublin U21 class of 2010 has been their will to win, work-ethic, unity, strong defence and ability to find the key scores when under pressure – these were all in evident in the decider on Saturday night.

On their run in Leinster Dublin had came from behind with 14 men to force extra-time and then victory against Louth, struggled for large periods against Carlow, and finished with a flourish against Westmeath after the midlanders had dominated the second half in the Leinster final while against Roscommon, again when reduced to 14 players, upped their game to reach the final.

On Saturday night they again showed the mettle which captured the All-Ireland crown for only the second time for the men from the capital (2003 being a historic first).

Dublin won the key battle of the night with Rory OCarroll having a heroic game on potential Donegal match-winner Michael Murphy which was a huge boost for the rest of the team.

Dublin settled well and led 0-6 to 0-2 after 19 minutes. Robert McCarthy opened the Dublin account in the third minute when he finished off a good handpassing move and further points from Dean Rock, following a good run and diagonal ball from Nicky Devereux, a Rock 45, Gary Sweeney, Devereux and Rock free, after a foul on Ciarán Dorney, gave the Dubs their four-point lead.

However, the men from Tír Conaill finished the half on top with Derek Molloy converting his third free of the night before getting the first point from play for his side in the 29th minute. Murphy almost goaled for Donegal as the game ticked into injury time but pulled his shot wide but a minute into added time Donegal carved open the Dublin defence with Leo McLoone working a one-two with sub Cillian Morrisson before firing to an empty net to give the Ulster champions a 1-4 to 0-6 half-time lead.

By the three-quarter mark Donegal led by two points, 1-6 to 0-7, and Dublin were in need of some inspiration. They did not have to wait long as the excellent Gary Sweeney was played through the middle by David Quinn and the young St Sylvesters player keep his nerve to expertly place the ball to the net out of reach of keeper Peter Boyle to regain the lead with 13 minutes remaining.

A Molloy free got Donegal back on level terms but again Dublin responded – this time a Dorney point from play. Dublin pressed on and recorded a couple of wides but did not let the head drop as a Rock free pushed them two points in front.

In a dramatic finish Murphy (free) and Barry ORorke exchanged scores as the game went into added time. Two minutes into the allocated three minuted Donegal were awarded the penalty which Murphy cracked off the crossbar. Dublin breathed a massive sigh of relief before a minute late celebrating the successful journey to becoming All-Ireland champions.

SCORERS – Dublin: G Sweeney 1-1, D Rock 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1 45), M Coughlan, R McCarthy, C Dorney, B ORorke, N Devereux 0-1 each. Donegal: L McLoone 1-0, M Murphy 0-2 (0-1f), D Molloy 0-5 (4f), C Morrison 0-1.
DUBLIN – V Whelan; E Culligan, R OCarroll, D Nelson; J Cooper, S Murray, N Devereux; J McCarthy, C Mullins; C Dorney, M Coughlan, G Sweeney; R McCarthy, D Rock, T Furman. Subs: D Quinn (Lucan) for R McCarthy (ht), C Reddin for J McCarthy (38), B ORorke for Furman (45), S McGuinness for Nelson (50), N Brogan for Dorney (63).
DONEGAL – P Boyle; P McGrath, D Walsh, C Boyle; K Mulhern, D Curran, E Doherty; C Classon, L McLoone; A McFadden, D Molloy, T McKinley; J Carroll, M Murphy, M McHugh. Subs: D Murphy for McKinley (29), C Morrisson for McFadden (29), C McGinley for Carroll (54), S O’Kennedy for Curran (58).
REF – M Duffy (Sligo).