Archer arrows home hat-trick in Leinster U-20 final romp

by Cóilín Duffy

Eirgrid Leinster Under-20 final
Dublin 4-18
Laois 0-17

ST MAURS Clubman Ciaran Archer bagged 3-8, as Dublin claimed their first Eirgrid Leinster Under-20 title thanks to a strong final quarter in Bord na Mona O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Friday night.

Goals were key as Dublin claimed a 4-18 to 0-17 win to put them through to an All-Ireland semi-final this Saturday against Galway in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park (5pm)

Man of the Match Archer was central to the Metropolitans cause, with joint-captain Kieran Kennedy grabbing Dublin’s other goal in the second half.

“It was 100% about the team,” Archer told Dublin Gazette after the game.

“The likes of James Doran and Karl Lynch-Bissett, when they get the ball you know if you make a run they will find you, so it makes my life a lot easier.”

Tom Gray’s side started strongly and led by 0-4 to 0-0 after five and a half minutes, with Naomh Mearnóg club man Lynch-Bissett, Sean Lambe from St Vincent’s, Ballyboden’s Ross McGarry and Archer on target.

St Patrick’s Donabate clubman Darren Maher was among those who worked hard in the Dublin defence in a spell where Laois took a 0-6 to 0-5 lead with six of the next seven points.

However, 1-5 unanswered, including Archer’s first goal provided the platform for this Dublin win.

“We knew that it was going to be a tough game,” Archer said.

“They beat the likes of Kildare – who won it last year – and Meath who are another great side, so we knew coming into the game it was going to be tough.

“The big crowd from Laois really rallied them on and I think they got a bit of energy from every score they got, so it was very difficult in those spells, but I think we done really well in the end and I’m just delighted.”

From a club perspective, Archer was delighted to add his name to the small list of players who have won Leinster medals with Dublin from St Maur’s, including Ciaran Reddin.

“Everyone in Rush is delighted, and I’m just buzzing that I could do it for them really,” he said.

“I’d like to thank everyone in St. Maurs who helped me coming up. The likes of Darren Rock, Julian Sweetman and all my underage coaches who helped me develop and just instilled a love of the game in me.”

It’s been a hectic schedule for Dublin who now face into an All-Ireland semi-final against Galway and Archer says the squad have been juggling things quite well to date.

“We’ve managed the game-to-game quite well, and I’m just looking forward to getting the body right and going again next week against Galway,” Archer said.

“They are going to be a really good side, we know from playing them in the league we’ve seen what they are about, and we know what we are up against.

“It’s going to be a difficult game, but I’m really looking forward to a good battle.”

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