St Maur’s Ciaran Reddin with the annual Dubs Stars trophy

SKERRIES Harps’ Stephen Smith and St Maur’s Ciaran Reddin were among the Fingal men to take the stage on New Year’s Day at Parnell Park as part of the annual Dub Stars battles.
Smith lined out at full-forward for the Stars while Reddin captained Dublin in the tie that pits the best players from the club championship against the county’s senior panellists.
The Stars lost out to Dublin – as they do far more often than not in these encounters – but put up a brave second half battle, with Vincent’s Mossy Quinn proving a dominant asset as he scored 3-4 against the run of play.
While most of the Vincent’s players on the Stars panel opted to stay at home ahead of their All Ireland club semi-final, Quinn showed his match sharpness in front of Jim Gavin.
Two of his goals – a sneaky quickly-taken free that caught out the Dublin keeper and a swift move in front of the defence to palm in from a hopeful cross – were a result of being quicker off the mark and quicker in thought than his opponents.
Quinn is seen as an unlikely returnee to the Dublin senior panel, however, and there were plenty of others who made a claim in the early-season encounter.
Conor McHugh’s 2-5 for Dublin was arguably as promising a performance as any on display while Graham Hannigan, Paul Hudson and Tom Shiels also had an impact in the contest.
Reddin also put in a solid showing, captaining the Dublin side to victory as he looked to make his own mark. The Maur’s man scored 0-1 playing while wearing number 18 in Dublin’s convoluted squad number system, and made his impact from the heart of the field.
He lifted the trophy following the game, briefly expressing his hope that the title was the first of many for Dublin during the season. He may well be amongst those to get a further chance to impress the watching Jim Gavin in the forthcoming O’Byrne Cup games.
Dublin eventually won an entertaining but not particularly physical contest by the narrowest of margins, 3-13 to 4-9.
In the hurling encounter, Cuala stars also withdrew ahead of the All Ireland club semi-final, giving players from their rivals Kilmacud Crokes a chance to shine, one which Oisin O’Rorke and Ross O’Carroll in particular took.
O’Rorke wasn’t his usual self in the early stages, but came to be the reliable playmaker and free taker that Crokes have come to lean on as the game progressed, while Crumlin’s Alex Quinn snatched a scrambled goal and made plenty of noise up top as he looked to impress.
In perfect winter conditions, the Stars once again ran Dublin close, taking a sizeable lead into the break, but were eventually overcome by the boys in blue, who won out by 1-19 to 1-14.