SFC quarter-final: Dubs ease into semi

August 05, 2017

Monaghan's Drew Wylie and Dean Rock of Dublin

An impressive 1-08 for Dean Rock helped Dublin to a 1-19 to 0-12 win over Monaghan in this SFC quarter-final at Croke Park this evening.

Dublin go marching on as once again, they didn't receive the test that they yearn for at this stage of the championship as they completely outplayed a brave Monaghan outfit.

Dublin manager Jim Gavin gave some game time to Paul Flynn and Michael Dara Macauley for the first time in this year's championship and with Diarmuid Connolly free to play against Tyrone in the semi-final, they look as formidable as ever.

Monaghan made two changes to their starting line up as Dessie Ward and Jack McCarron came in for Darren Freeman and Dermot Malone as Malachy O'Rourke looked to set up his team to stop the Dubs.

The first half was nothing short of abysmal as there was a real lack of atmosphere at headquarters and only for a few bars of 'Molly Malone', a lot of the crowd was in danger of going for a snooze.

Monaghan left Jack McCarron and Conor McManus up front and the aim was to get ball into them, but every time, they were outnumbered and the Dublin defence coped with the threat.

The Dubs looked impressive from both kick outs as Brian Fenton and James McCarthy nullified the threat of the Hughes brothers, Darren and Kieran, particularly in the first half.

Championship record breaker Stephen Cluxton showed his worth in the second half with two very good saves, while as usual his kickouts were the catalyst for many of Dublin's attacks.

Dublin never had to get out of first gear after they scored the first point with 35 seconds on the clock as the impressive Paul Mannion continued his good form with the early score.

Paddy Andrews doubled the lead shortly after before Conor McManus got Monaghan off the mark in the fourth minute with a left footed effort from play.

Then three frees from Dean Rock in the 6th, 12th and 14th minutes put daylight between the sides and the Dubs continued to exert the pressure as Jack McCaffrey made it 0-06 to 0-01 by the 18th minute.

Two minutes later and it looked as if Dublin were about to get the opening goal of the game, as a brilliant through ball by Brian Fenton was gathered by the incoming Con O'Callaghan, but the centre forward's shot was well saved by Rory Beggan and Andrews fluffed with the follow up.

A Rock free and O'Callaghan from play made it 0-08 to 0-01 by the 24th minute before Mannion tagged on his second point of the game.

Monaghan were in dire need of a score and they got one even though it came from the unlikely source of wing back and captain Colin Walshe who pointed from underneath the Cusack Stand.

Rock made it 0-10 to 0-03 with his fifth free of the game in the 30th minute and then Monaghan's other wing back Karl O'Connell came forward to hit a well taken point.

A patient build up by the Dubs yielded the last point of the half when James McCarthy burst through and tapped over a simple score.

The second half saw Conor McCarthy make his mark with an early score, but that was cancelled out by Andrews. The Monaghan sub added a second soon after, however, Dublin stepped up a gear.

Rock hit a free and then palmed the ball to the net after good work by Andrews to make it 1-13 to 0-05.

Cluxton made the first of his two saves when McCarron let fly and from the break away, Andrews finished with a fine score. McCarthy got a third point, but Dublin always seemed to respond in kind.

A Rock '45 was followed by a free from the same player, but the sides managed to exchange scores for the remainder of the game as the Dubs eased up to book their place in yet another semi-final.

Dublin - S Cluxton; P McMahon, C O'Sullivan, M Fitzsimons; J Cooper, J Small, E Lowndes; B Fenton, J McCarthy (0-1); C Kilkenny, C O'Callaghan (0-1), J McCaffrey (0-1); P Mannion (0-3), P Andrews (0-3), D Rock (1-8, 0-7f, 0-1'45). Subs: B Brogan for E Lowndes, P Flynn (0-1) for J McCarthy, D Daly for J Small, E O'Gara (0-1) for P Andrews, M D Macauley for C Kilkenny, D Byrne for J Cooper.

Monaghan - R Beggan (0-1f); F Kelly, D Wylie, R Wylie; C Walshe (0-1), K Duffy, K O'Connell (0-1); K Hughes, D Hughes (0-1); D Ward, G Doogan, S Carey; R McAnespie (0-1), J McCarron, C McManus (0-4, 3f). Subs: C McCarthy (0-3) for G Doogan, O Duffy for D Ward, V Corey for R Wylie, D Mone for K O'Connell, N McAdam for D Hughes, F Kelly.

Referee - C Lane.

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