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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 23 October, 2018
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Dublin are Leinster SFC champions for the ninth time in 10 years

It’s a hat-trick of wins over Meath in the provincial decider.

Alan Brogan and Kevin McManamon celebrate.
Alan Brogan and Kevin McManamon celebrate.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Dublin 3-20

Meath 1-10

THE FINAL CHAPTER of Dublin and Meath’s Leinster final trilogy was supposed to be the closest of the lot.

Nobody told the Dubs.

Such was their dominance in Croke Park this afternoon, they led by as many as 20 points with nine minutes to play — and had racked up three times Meath’s total, which stood at a pitiful eight points before Mickey Newman struck with a late consolation goal.

Dublin’s ninth provincial crown in 10 years paints many pictures: an imposing one of their strength as they head for the All-Ireland quarter-finals next month; an intimidating one for whoever will bid to dethrone them; and a bleak one for the health of Leinster football.

Diarmuid Connolly leads the Dublin warm-up. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The only cloud on Dublin’s day was a biting allegation made by Royal boss Mick O’Dowd when speaking to the media afterwards. He alleged that defender Mickey Burke had been bitten during the second half, although Jim Gavin had heard nothing of the incident when he spoke to the media.

As a contest, this was as physical as you might expect and Dublin were the clear victors in that department. Stephen Cluxton’s heat-seeking kick-outs were mostly on the money and when play did break down in midfield, Michael Dara Macauley and Cian O’Sullivan held the upper hand.

There was an element of fortune about Dublin’s opening goal on 19 minutes. Man of the match Kevin McManamon, who tormented the Meath defence and finished with a superb 1-5, saw his shot strike the post and drop in front of Paddy O’Rourke’s goal.

There was nothing fortunate about the positioning of Alan and Bernard Brogan though, positioned and primed to strike. Both went to apply the finishing touch, Bernard just beating his older brother to the punch.

Bernard and Alan Brogan both scramble to score the game's opening goal. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

It’s hard for Meath to have too many grievances in a game which they lost by 16 points but they will look back with a sour taste on Stephen Bray’s disallowed goal in the 25th minute.

As the Canal End net rippled, referee Padraig Hughes called play back for an earlier infringement and awarded Meath a free in. The contact in question, by Michael Fitzsimons on Dalton McDonagh, appeared to be minimal.

So Meath trailed by five instead of a possible three but Dublin turned up the heat, finishing with five of the last six scores in the half to lead 1-12 to 0-6 at the break.

Kev McManamon's goal was the highlight of a brilliant afternoon for the Dublin forward. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

If that scoreline seemed ominous for Meath, it was with good reason. McManamon struck just four minutes into the second half with a thumping drive that gave O’Rourke no chance.

Dublin kept the scoreboard ticking over, with contributions from no fewer than 11 different players, and their rout was complete when substitute Eoghan O’Gara placed the ball low inside O’Rourke’s right post.

Connolly and Costello were on cloud nine as Dublin celebrated another Leinster title. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Another of Dublin’s subs, Dean Rock, fluffed a glorious chance to add another immediately afterwards, bundling the ball on to the post at close range.

Meath immediately came down the other end and Newman scored, but that couldn’t salve the pain of another blue Sunday in Croke Park.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Scorers for Dublin: Bernard Brogan 1-6 (4f), Kevin McManamon 1-5, Eoghan O’Gara 1-1, Diarmuid Connolly, Stephen Cluxton (1 45), Cian O’Sullivan, Alan Brogan, Jack McCaffrey, Paul Flynn, Dean Rock, Cormac Costello 0-1 each

Scorers for Meath: Mickey Newman 1-2 (1f), Shane O’Rourke (2f), Andy Tormey, Stephen Bray 0-2 each, Damien Carroll, David Bray 0-1 each.

DUBLIN

1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells)

2. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
3. Rory O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes)
21. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)

5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
6. Nicky Devereux (Ballinteer St John’s)
19. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf)

8. Michael Darragh Macauley (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
9. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)

10. Paul Flynn (Fingallians)
11. Alan Brogan (Oliver Plunkett’s / Eoghan Rua)
12. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s)

13. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s)
20. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
15. Bernard Brogan (Oliver Plunkett’s / Eoghan Rua)

Substitutions: Cormac Costello for Mannion (HT), Dean Rock for Connolly (42), Eoghan O’Gara for A Brogan (49), Denis Bastick for Macauley (59), Darren Daly for Devereux (59), Tomas Brady for O’Sullivan (69).

MEATH

1. Paddy O’Rourke (Skryne)

2. Eoghan Harrington (Wolfe Tones)
3. Kevin Reilly (Navan O’Mahony’s)
4. Bryan Menton (Donaghmore / Ashbourne)

5. Padraic Harnan (Moynalvey)
6. Donal Keogan (Rathkenny)
7. Donncha Tobin (Blackhall Gaels)

13. Graham Reilly (St Colmcille’s)
9. Shane O’Rourke (Simonstown Gaels)

10. Damien Carroll (Ballinabrackey)
11. Brian McMahon (Ratoath)
12. Andrew Tormey (Donaghmore/Ashbourne)

20. Dalton McDonagh (Na Fianna)
14. Stephen Bray (Navan O’Mahony’s)
15. Mickey Newman (Kilmainham)

Substitutions: Joseph Wallace for Reilly (31), Mickey Burke for Carroll (HT), David Bray for McDonagh (46), Brian Meade for O’Rourke (46), Mark O’Sullivan for Menton (53), Paddy Gilsenan for Tobin (70).

Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh).

As it happened: Dublin v Meath, Leinster senior football final

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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