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Dublin cruise past Meath with O'Gara and Costello both hitting the net
11 points between the teams in Navan.

Dublin 2-19 

Meath  1-11

Paul Keane reports from Páirc Tailteann, Navan

KILLIAN O’GARA GRABBED the rare opportunity of an Allianz Football League start for Dublin with both hands, shooting 1-3 in Navan to propel the visitors to a hugely significant win.

killian-ogara-with-adam-oneill Evan Treacy / INPHO Dublin's Killian O'Gara and Meath's Adam O'Neill. Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Victory over old rivals is always pleasing but the more important aspect was that Dublin are now virtually assured of an immediate return to Division 1.

Results tomorrow, and in the final round of games next weekend, could still conspire against Dessie Farrell’s side but their fifth win from six games leaves them on the brink of promotion and a Division 2 final spot.

O’Gara impressed for Dublin in the O’Byrne Cup though only got a couple of opportunities as a sub in the league until this afternoon when he was a late addition to the lineup.

His goal late in the first-half helped Dublin to lead by nine at the break and they stretched that gap to 11 by full-time.

There was a late, late goal from Cormac Costello too and the Whitehall man finished with 1-4 while Brian Fenton and Con O’Callaghan shared out eight points evenly between them.

lee-gannon-with-jack-oconnor Evan Treacy / INPHO Dublin's Lee Gannon with Meath's Jack O'Connor. Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Relegation shouldn’t be a concern for Meath though slipping into the Tailteann Cup could yet be. They will play Kildare in Round 7 next weekend, in Newbridge, and look set to be without captain Donal Keogan who limped off late on with a hamstring injury.

Dublin played with the wind in the first-half and built up a 1-11 to 1-2 lead by the interval, restricting the Royals to just three scores, one of which was a fortunate Mathew Costello goal.

The Dunshaughlin man appeared to be shooting for a point from the left channel in the 21st minute when his kick dropped in over the head of Dublin goalkeeper David O’Hanlon.

Fenton, O’Gara and Costello all scored freely for the Dubs in the first-half with O’Gara’s 35th minute goal, following a pacy counterattack led by Eoin Murchan, a beauty.

diarmaid-moriarty-with-ciaran-kilkenny Evan Treacy / INPHO Meath's Diarmuid Moriarty with Dublin's Ciaran Kilkenny. Evan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Even with the wind behind them in the second-half, Meath couldn’t muster anything like a revival and five Dublin points in a row between the 53rd and 60th minutes – three of those from O’Callaghan – all but killed the contest.

Aaron Lynch did chip in with two points for Meath after coming on but Dublin, fittingly, had the final say when Cormac Costello palmed in a 75th minute goal to take the winning margins into double digits.

Scorers for Dublin: Cormac Costello 1-4 (0-1f, 0-1 ’45), Killian O’Gara 1-3, Con O’Callaghan 0-4, Brian Fenton 0-4 (0-1f), Lee Gannon 0-2, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-1, Sean Bugler 0-1.

Scorers for Meath: Matthew Costello 1-2 (0-1f), Jack Flynn 0-3 (0-1 ’45), Diarmuid Moriarty 0-2 (0-1f), Aaron Lynch 0-2, Cathal Hickey 0-1, Donal Lenihan 0-1.

Dublin

1. David O’Hanlon (Na Fianna)

4. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala), 2. Daire Newcombe (Lucan Sarsfields), 3. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)

6. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams), 22. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna), 7. Lee Gannon (Whitehall Colmcille)

5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams), 8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)

26. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street), 10. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock), 9. Tom Lahiff (St Judes)

25. Killian O’Gara (Templeogue Synge Street), 11. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala), 13. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille)

Subs

  • 20. Sean Bugler (St Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh) for Scully (28)
  • 19. Brian Howard (Raheny) for Lahiff (55)
  • 17. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Endas) for O’Gara (62)
  • 24. Ryan Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for O’Callaghan (67)
  • 23. Cian Murphy (Thomas Davis) for Gannon (70)

Meath

1. Harry Hogan (Longwood)

2. Adam O’Neill (Wolfe Tones), 3. Michael Flood (St Brigid’s), 4. Harry O’Higgins (Drumbaragh Emmets)

5. Donal Keoghan (Rathkenny), 6. Padraic Harnan (Moynalvey), 7. Cathal Hickey (Seneschalstown)

8. Ronan Jones (St Peter’s, Dunboyne), 9. Jack Flynn (Ratoath)

10. Jack O’Connor (Curraha), 11. Jason Scully (Oldcastle), 12. Shane Crosby (Duleek Bellewstown)

13. Jordan Morris (Kingscourt Stars), 14. Mathew Costello (Dunshaughlin), 15. Diarmuid Moriarty (Curraha)

Subs

  • 17. Cillian O’Sullivan (Moynalvey) for O’Connor (h/t)
  • 21. Daithi McGowan (Ratoath) for Crosby (h/t)
  • 22. Aaron Lynch (Trim) for Morris 9h/t)
  • 24. Donal Lenihan (St Peter’s, Dunboyne) for Scully (55)
  • 19. Eoin Harkin (Dunsany) for Keogan (61)

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).

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