Meath slump in Leinster SFC decider
Meath were 21 points adrift of 10-in-a-row Leinster SFC champions Dublin tonight at Croke Park as the All-Ireland title holders won convincingly by 3-21 to 0-9.
It was another disappointing night for Meath football as expectations of a performance were high, but the Royal County never got a look in.
Meath had a goal chance inside 30 seconds, but had to settle for a Bryan Menton point with Dublin's Paddy Small replying at the other from a mark.
Dean Rock (free) gave Dublin the lead, but Jordan Morris sent over at the other end for parity and that was as good as it got for Meath - all that after eight minutes.
Dublin countered swiftly from the resultant kick-out with Dean Rock finding the net and Paddy Small adding a point from another mark.
Rock added two more points (one free) and Ciaran Kilkenny eased Dublin into a 1-6 to 0-2 advantage by the first water break.
Dublin doubled their tally when play resumed to lead by 2-12 to 0-2 at the interval with Sean Bugler finding the net and the points tacked on by Rock (two), Small, Niall Scully, Kilkenny and Con O'Callaghan.
After the resumption Dublin added points from Rock, Small, Kilkenny and O'Callaghan to a brace from Meath by Thomas O'Reilly amd Cillian O'Sullivan to lead by 2-16 to 0-4 at the second water break.
Ronan Jones picked up a black card with nine minutes remaining and Dublin's Cormac Costello saw a straight red in the 67th minute as Dublin added some late gloss with a Scully goal.
Meath added to their tally with three Morris points and one each by Jason Scully and Joey Wallace.
The All-Ireland champions defeated Laois by 22 points last weekend in the quarter-final.
Dublin - Dean Rock 1-7; Sean Bugler 1-2; Ciaran Kilkenny 0-4; Niall Scully 1-1; Paddy Small 0-3; Con O'Callaghan 0-2; John Small 0-1; Paul Mannion 0-1.
Meath - Jordan Morris 0-4; Bryan Menton 0-1; Thomas O'Reilly 0-1; Cillian O'Sullivan 0-1; Jason Scully 0-1; Joey Wallace 0-1.
Dublin - Stephen Cluxton; Michael Fitzsimons, Jonny Cooper, Eoin Murchan; Davy Byrne, John Small, Robert McDaid; Brian Fenton, James McCarthy; Niall Scully, Ciaran Kilkenny, Sean Bugler; Paddy Small, Con O’Callaghan, Dean Rock. Subs - Brian Howard for Copper half-time, Paul Mannion for P Small 41 mins, Eric Lowndes for J Small 52m, Cormac Costello for O'Callaghan 57m, Kevin McManamon for Kilkenny 65m.
Meath - Mark Brennan; Seamus Lavin, Conor McGill, David Toner; Donal Keogan, Shane McEntee, Mathew Costello; Bryan Menton, Ronan Jones; Cillian O'Sullivan, Bryan McMahon, Ronan Ryan; Jordan Morris, Shane Walsh, Thomas O'Reilly. Subs - Cathal Hickey for Toner and Eoin Harkin for McGill both 44m, Ethan Devine for Costello 46m, Jason Scully for McMahon 52m, Joey Wallace for O'Reilly 53m.
Referee - Derek O'Mahoney (Tipperary).