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Three sent-off as Dublin brush off Meath by 13 points

Dessie Farrell’s men will face Kildare in the final.

Dublin's Con O’Callaghan with Eoin Harkin of Meath.
Dublin's Con O’Callaghan with Eoin Harkin of Meath.
Image: Evan Treacy/INPHO

Dublin 1-27

Meath 1-14

DUBLIN ARE BACK to blitzing their way through Leinster. 

The Sky Blues followed up their 23-point hammering of Wexford with a 13-point beat down of Meath in this Leinster semi-final. 

There had been little to suggest from Meath’s league form that they would mount any sort of challenge against Dublin and so it transpired.

The Royals lost their discipline in the second-half as Jack Flynn and Jordan Morris received their marching orders on a forgettable afternoon.

Dessie Farrell’s team led by 15 points at half-time after coasting through an opening 35 minutes where they barely had to get out of second gear. 

They should get a far greater test of their credentials in the decider against Kildare, who overcame Westmeath in the curtain raiser. Even if Meath were woeful, Dublin are motoring along nicely and playing with confidence. 

Con O’Callaghan, Ciaran Kilkenny and Cormac Costello shone at different stages in attack. Tom Lahiff had one of his best days in the Dublin jersey at midfield and in defence they’ve shored things up considerably since the league. 

It remains to be seen exactly what Dessie Farrell can take from this contest. But one thing is for sure, they’re in a far richer vein of form in comparison to the single digit wins over Wexford and Meath last summer.

If the Royals were to make a contest out of this game, they could ill afford to miss five early chances and take 13 minutes for their opening score. 

Cormac Costello started the game on fire and Dublin took a strange hold on midfield, lording Harry Hogan’s kick-outs while Evan Comerford was able to get his away long and short with ease. 

James McCarthy returned to the starting team and he broke forward from wing-back for a couple of scores. Con O’Callaghan clipped a pair of scores and then he started to cause wreck. Mick Fitzsimons and Brian Fenton delivered a pair of glorious cross field balls into the Cuala ace.

He collected both and went straight for goal, drawing two fouls from Eoin Harkin the first for a free and second for a penalty. Rock converted both for 1-1.

Dublin used Ciaran Kilkenny at wing-forward as young attacker Lorcan O’Dell came into the side on the far flank. Meath’s best spell came when the scored three points midway through the opening half. Their attack was stuttering and in defence they lacked any real bite or plan.

Dublin led by 15 points at half-time and in truth, we might as well have all headed home at that stage. Andy McEntee rang the changes at the break, introducing Cathal Hickey, Shane Walsh and Shane McEntee in the hope of sparking his team into life. 

cillian-osullivan-with-lee-gannon-and-john-small Meath's Cillian O'Sullivan with Lee Gannon and John Small of Dublin. Source: Evan Treacy/INPHO

The second-half ran along predictable lines. Meath improved somewhat and managed to equal their first-half tally in the 10 minutes after the restart. Jordan Morris shot narrowly wide after a glorious pass from Matthew Costello.

Dublin were happy to get bodies behind the ball and play on the counter attack. McCarthy burst forward and set-up a Sean Bugler effort, before Kilkenny added his third and fourth in quick succession. 

Meath ran at the Dublin rearguard far more during the second period, drawing a few frees for Jack O’Connor and Morris to curl over.

They lost Jack Flynn to a straight red for a heavy hit on Jonny Coopy late in the day, before Costello won a penalty in stoppage-time which saw Fitzsimons sent off on a black after he’d already been booked. 

Morris sent Comerford the wrong way to ensure Meath won the second-half at least. 

Morris was red carded for striking Lee Gannon off the ball in the dying moments. It summed up a day of frustration for the Royals.

Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 1-8 (1-0 pen, 0-5f, 0-1 45), Ciaran Kilkenny 0-5, Cormac Costello 0-3, Con O’Callaghan, James McCarthy, Tom Lahiff and Lorcan O’Dell 0-2 each, Sean Bugler, Brian Howard and John Small (0-1m) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Meath: Jordan Morris 1-2  (1-0 pen, 0-2f), Jack O’Connor 0-4 (0-3f), Bryan Menton 0-3, Jack Flynn, Joey Wallace, Donal Keogan and Shane McEntee 0-1 each.

Dublin

16. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kichams)

2. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna), 3. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala), 4. Lee Gannon (Whitehall Colmcille)

5. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams), 6. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna), 7. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kichams)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny), 9. Tom Lahiff (St. Jude’s)

10. Seán Bugler (St. Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh), 11. Brian Howard (Raheny), 12. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)

13. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille), 15. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams), 14. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)

Subs

6. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna) for Murchan (50)

25. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street) for O’Dell (55)

26. Paddy Small (Ballymun Kichams) for O’Callaghan (56)

18. Shane Clayton (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for Fenton (62)

24. Brian O’Leary (Na Fianna) for Costello (67) 

Meath

1. Harry Hogan (Longwood)

2. Robin Clarke (Duleek/Bellewstown), 4. Eoin Harkin (Dunsaney), 3. Conor McGill (Ratoath)

6. Donal Keogan (Rathkenny), 5. James McEntee (Curraha), 20. Ronan Ryan (Summerhill)

9. Ronan Jones (St Peter’s Dunboyne), 8. Bryan Menton (Donaghmore Ashbourne)

14. Thomas O’Reilly (Wolfe Tones) 11. Cillian O’Sullivan (Moynalvey), 12. Jack O’Connor (Curraha)

13. Jordan Morris (Kingscourt Stars, Cavan), 24. Matthew Costello (Dunshaughlin) 15. Joey Wallace (Ratoath)

Subs

7. Cathal Hickey (Curraha) for McEntee (ht)

25. Shane Walsh (Na Fianna) for O’Reilly (ht)

26. Shane McEntee (St Peter’s Dunboyne) for Ryan (ht)

21. Jack Flynn (Ratoath) for Jones (43)

23. Bryan McMahon (Ratoath) for O’Sullivan (59)

Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary).

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / Reports from Croke Park

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