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Dublin: 12°C Thursday 13 May 2021

A third All-Ireland U21 title in six years for Dublin after final win over Galway

Con O’Callaghan and Aaron Byrne scored goals for the winners.

Dublin 2-13
Galway 2-7

Fintan O’Toole reports from Tullamore

O’CONNOR PARK AGAIN proved a happy hunting ground for a Dublin U21 football team this evening as they claimed the last EirGrid All-Ireland U21 football title in convincing fashion.

A blistering third quarter period by Dessie Farrell’s charges when they hit 1-4 without reply, proved crucial in enabling them to pull clear of Galway in this final.

The success marked Dublin’s third title win in six years in this grade, with all three arriving at the Tullamore venue.

Dessie Connelly has a shot blocked by Darren Byrne Galway's Dessie Conneely has a shot blocked by Dublin's Darren Byrne. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Con O’Callaghan pounced for the vital first goal of the game for the winners in the 35th minute, palming the ball to the net after a flowing Dublin team move. It was Aaron Byrne who drilled home the second which sealed Dublin’s success in the 56th minute.

Galway rallied impressively in the final quarter with Cillian McDaid in the 49th minute and substitute Colm Brennan late in injury-time, both raising green flags.

McDaid was excellent but it was the outstanding defender Séan Andy Ó Ceallaigh who was Galway’s best player on the day. That duo propelled Galway forward late on and when Dylan Molloy lashed over a point, they had trimmed the deficit to four points – 1-10 to 1-6 – with ten minutes left on the clock.

Shortly after McDaid nearly placed Ruairí Greene for a second goal that would have ignited Galway’s challenge but the ball cannoned off the post. Substitute Antaine Ó Laoi skewed a free wide moments later and with Byrne finishing clincially at the other end, Galway’s hopes of a memorable comeback were dashed.

Gerry Fahy’s side, who trailed 0-5 to 0-4 at the interval, were left to rue their slow start.

Substitute Darren Gavin and Brian Howard produced superb performances for Dublin, while Glenn O’Reilly, Colm Basquel and Dan O’Brien all chipped in with significant scores from play.

They ran out deserving victors by the finish of a game watched by 7,557 spectators.

Scorers for Dublin: Con O’Callaghan 1-3 (0-2f, 0-1 pen), Aaron Byrne 1-0, Glenn O’Reilly 0-3, Colm Basquel, Dan O’Brien 0-2 each, Brian Howard, Stephen Smith 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: Cillian McDaid 1-1, Colm Brennan 1-0, Kieran Molloy, Peter Cooke (0-1f), Michael Daly, Paul Mannion, Eoin Finnerty, Colin Brady 0-1 each.


1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

2. Darren Byrne (Raheny)
6. Seán McMahon (Raheny)
5. Declan Monaghan (Clontarf)

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

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8. Andy Foley (Clontarf)
9. Brian Howard (Raheny)

15. Dan O’Brien (Kilmacud Crokes)
12. Glenn O’Reilly (Na Fianna)
11. Aaron Byrne (Na Fianna)

10. Tom Fox (Kilmacud Crokes)
13. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
14. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)


24. Darren Gavin (Lucan Sarsfields) for Foley (inj) (12)
19. Darragh Spillane (Cuala) for Fox (39)
22. Chris Sallier (Thomas Davis) for O’Reilly (46)
21. Andrew McGowan (Kilmacud Crokes) for McMahon (59)
17. Paddy Small (Ballymun Kickhams) for Basquel (60)
18. Stephen Smith (Skerries Harps) for Byrne (62)


1. Ronan Ó Beoláin (Mícheál Breathnach)

2. Liam Kelly (An Spidéal)
3. Sean Andy Ó Ceallaigh (Leitir Mor)
4. Ruairi Greene (Killannin)

7. Cillian McDaid (Monivea-Abbey)
6. Dylan McHugh (Corofin)
5. Kieran Molloy (Corofin)

8. Peter Cooke (Moycullen)
9. Cein D’Arcy (Caherlistrane)

12. Paul Mannion (Kilconly)
11. Michael Daly (Mountbellew-Moylough)
10. Sean Kelly (Moycullen)

13. Robert Finnerty (Salthill-Knocknacarra)
14. Eoin Finnerty (Mountbellew-Moylough)
15. Dessie Conneely (Moycullen)


20. Colin Brady (Corofin) for Robert Finnerty (half-time)
18. Colm Brennan (Aran Islands) for D’Arcy (36)
22. Michael Boyle (Killererin) for Conneely (39)
23. Eric Lee (Oughterard) for Kelly (44)
21. Antaine Ó Laoi (An Spidéal) for Mannion (54)
17. Pádraic Ó Curraoin (An Spidéal) for Molloy (59)

Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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