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Dublin: 4°C Friday 14 May 2021

After All-Ireland hurling win, O'Callaghan hits 2-5 as Dublin book Leinster U21 football final place

The Cuala man was the difference in tonight’s win over Longford.

Dublin 2-10
Longford 0-9

Paul Keane reports from Lakepoint Park, Mullingar

FIVE DAYS AFTER winning an All-Ireland club hurling medal with Cuala, Con O’Callaghan was the star with 2-5 tonight for the Dublin U21 footballers as they booked their place in the EirGrid Leinster final with a victory over Longford.

Con O’Callaghan with Conor Farrell and Conor Gallagher Con O'Callaghan was a thorn in the side of the Longford defence tonight. Source: INPHO

The Dublin senior footballer was on familiar ground, playing in the town of his father Maurice’s birth and lit up a wet and windy evening at Lakepoint Park.

His two-goal blast came in the third quarter of the game as Dessie Farrell’s four-in-a-row chasing side burned off Longford with a surge of scoring.

Dublin, playing against a strong wind, were in front narrowly by 0-4 to 0-3 at the break before they took over in the second half to run out winners by seven points in Mullingar.

Chris Sallier celebrates after the game with Donal McIlgorm Dublin’s Chris Sallier celebrates after the game with Cillian O’Shea. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

O’Callaghan’s father actually played hurling and football for Westmeath in the 1986 championships and Con is clearly a chip off the block with a seamless transition from one code to another in a matter of just days.

He will be a marked man next Wednesday night when Dublin travel to Portlaoise to play Offaly in the provincial final. Chris Sallier had a strong game too, scoring three points from play, before being forced off with an apparent leg injury.

His replacement, Stephen Smith, kicked a neat score with his first touch, summing up a positive night for Dublin. Longford will curse their poor defending as both goals came from their own mistakes and they will also rue their errant kicking when they had the wind advantage in the first half.

Andrew Foley with David McGivney Dublin’s Andrew Foley with David McGivney of Longford. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Frank McNamee’s side fired six first-half wides, dropped a point attempt short and also had a 24th minute goal chance from Nigel Rabbitte blocked by Dublin defender Darren Byrne.

It meant that Dublin, with O’Callaghan and Sallier hitting a brace of points each, led 0-4 to 0-3 at half-time when they should have been behind.

Tom Fox with Russell Brady Dublin and Longford players battle for possession. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Dublin killed off the game with that third quarter burst of scores that amounted to 2-3 without reply to effectively seal the win.

O’Callaghan intercepted a short kick-out for the first goal, just 80 seconds after the restart, and capitalised in the 39th minute when Longford defender Dessie Reynolds coughed up possession.

Con O’Callaghan celebrates scoring a goal with Chris Sallier Con O'Callaghan fires a goal for Dublin with Chris Sallier. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Longford, who contested the 2015 Leinster minor final, at least finished strong and scored the last four points of the game including two from top scorer David McGivney.

Scorers for Dublin: Con O’Callaghan 2-5 (0-3f), Chris Sallier 0-3, Brian Howard, Stephen Smith 0-1.

Scorers for Longford: David McGivney 0-4 (0-3f), Rian Brady 0-2 (0-1f), Darragh Doherty, Aidan McElligott, Dessie Reynolds 0-1.


1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

6. Sean McMahon (Raheny)
20. Declan Monaghan (Clontarf)
4. Darren Byrne (Raheny)

7. Cian Murphy (Thomas Davis)
3. Cillian O’Shea (Kilmacud Crokes)
2. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)

8. Andrew Foley (Clontarf)
10. Brian Howard (Raheny)

15. Tom Fox (Kilmacud Crokes)
11. Aaron Byrne (Na Fianna)
17. Glenn O’Reilly (Na Fianna)

22. Chris Sallier (Thomas Davis)
14. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
12. Dan O’Brien (Kilmacud Crokes)


9. Donal McIlgorm (Skerries Harps) for O’Reilly (45)
13. Stephen Smith (Skerries Harps) for Sallier (48)
18. Sean Bugler (St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh) for Byrne (52)
24. Darragh Spillane (Cuala) for O’Brien (59)
23. Ben Shovlin (Kilmacud Crokes) for Foley (63)


1. Conor Gallagher (Grattan Og)

2. Kevin Sorohan (Rathcline)
3. Conor Farrell (Cashel)
4. James Mooney (Mullinalaghta St Columbas)

5. Cian Brady (Abbeylara)
6. Dessie Reynolds (Sean Connollys)
7. Russell Brady (Abbeylara)

8. David McGivney (Mullinalaghta St Columbas)
9. Shane Kenny (Rathcline)

10. Joe Kelly (Ballymahon)
11. Nigel Rabbitte (Abbeylara)
12. Peter Lynn (Grattan Og)

13. Rian Brady (Mullinalaghta St Columbas)
14. Daryl Carrigy (St Patrick’s Ardagh Moydow)
15. Aidan McElligott (Mullinalaghta St Columbas)


20. Cillian Lee (St Brigid’s Killashee) for Lynn (25)
23. Jayson Matthews (Mullinalaghta St Columbas) for Carrigy (h/t)
21. Conor Berry (Abbeylara) for Kenny (h/t)
17. Ronan Sweeney (Clonguish) for Russell Brady (41)
22. Darragh Doherty (Mostrim) for Kelly (41)
24. Sean Kelly (Carrickedmond) for Mooney (52)

Referee: Niall Ward (Westmeath)

Source: The42 GAA/SoundCloud

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Paul Keane

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