Easy for Dublin in Leinster final

Story by Conall Collier

Sunday, 23rd June, 2019 5:57pm

Easy for Dublin in Leinster final

Meath were way off the pace in the Leinster SFC final today as Dublin won the title again with an almost effortless 1-17 to 0-4 victory at Croke Park.

Meath couldn't be faulted in terms of effort and commitment, but a return of four points for 70 minutes of championship football wasn't good enough as Dublin stamped their authority on the game in the second-half.

The opening 10 minutes drew a blank on the scoreboard with Meath denied by the woodwork from an early free before Dublin hit the front in the 11th minute through a Ciaran Kilkenny point. 

Another Dublin point followed a minute later when Jack McCaffrey's pace took him past the Meath rearguard and soon after he surged forward again and won a '45' that Cormac Costello converted 

Three points in the opening quarter gave Dublin a hard-earned advantage and they added to that tally when Paul Mannion and Brian Howard sent over before Mannion hit the post from a penalty.

Meath eventually got off the mark in the 33rd minute when Bryan Menton split the posts while Dublin lost James McCarthy to injury with Michael Darragh Macauley deputising.

Meath could have been closer at the interval, but Ben Brennan was off target from a 30-metre free and Dublin were ahead by 0-5 to 0-1 at the break.

That was as good as it got for Meath who only managed three second-half points from Mickey Newman and a series of poor wides as Dublin eased into the comfort zone as they picked off the points before Con O'Callaghan found the net close to the final whistle.

Dublin - Stephen Cluxton; David Byrne, Michael Fitzsimons, Jack McCaffrey (0-2); James McCarthy, Cian O'Sullivan,  John Small; Brian Fenton (0-1), Philip McMahon (0-1); Niall Scully, Cormac Costello (0-3 two frees, one '45'), Brian Howard (0-1); Ciaran Kilkenny (0-1), Paul Mannion (0-2), Con O'Callaghan (1-0). Subs - Michael Darragh Macauley for McCarthy 32 mins, Dean Rock (0-4) for Howard 52m, Kevin McManamon for Costello 60m, Paddy Small for Byrne 61m, Paddy Andrews (0-1) for P Small 65m, Rory O'Carroll for McCaffrey 68m. 

Meath - Andrew Colgan; Seamus Lavin, Conor McGill, Shane Gallagher; Donal Keogan, Ronan Ryan, Graham Reilly; Bryan Menton (0-1), Shane McEntee; Ben Brennan, Bryan McMahon, James McEntee; Cillian O'Sullivan, Michael Newman (0-3 one free), James Conlon. Subs - Sean Tobin for Brennan 37 mins, Ethan Devine for Reilly 39m, Thomas O'Reilly for Conlon 54m;Barry Dardis for S McEntee 57m, Sean Curran for Gallagher and Thomas McGovern for McMahon both 65m.
Black card - D Keogan 73m (not replaced).

Referee - Sean Hurson (Tyrone).

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