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Dublin: 8°C Monday 19 April 2021

Three sent-off as Dublin U21's thankful to O'Callaghan brilliance in win over Meath

Con O’Callaghan struck 1-7 for Dessie Farrell’s Dublin team tonight.

Dublin 1-12
Meath 0-9

Fintan O’Toole reports from Parnell Park

THE CLASS OF forward Con O’Callaghan helped Dublin over the line against Meath in tonight’s EirGrid Leinster U21 football quarter-final at Parnell Park, in a game where tempers boiled over in the second-half as three players were sent-off.

Con O'Callaghan with Daniel O'Neill and Jamie Reilly Con O'Callaghan in action for Dublin tonight with Meath's Daniel O'Neill and Jamie Reilly Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

O’Callaghan shot 1-7 as Dessie Farrell’s side advanced to a semi-final meeting with Laois or Wicklow.

Dublin finished with 13 men after Martin Cahilan in the 43rd minute and Killian Deeley in injury-time were both sent-off after receiving second yellow cards. Meath also had a player sent-off with Ronan Jones shown a second yellow card in the 60th minute.

Meath gave Dublin a strong test but suffered from not putting scores on the board in the first-half when they were backed by the wind and they trailed 1-6 to 0-6 at the interval.

Michale Deegan and Daniel O'Neill Dublin's Michael Deegan and Meath's Daniel O'Neill in opposition tonight. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

O’Callaghan was Dublin’s undoubted attacking star in the first-half. He pounced to fire home the opening point of the game and then landed a brace in quick succession at the start of the second quarter.

The Cuala man has already lined out for Jim Gavin’s senior side in 2016, graduating from the minor ranks last year to play against Kerry in the opening league tie last month.

Ruairi O'Caoileann dejected Dejected Meath players after tonight's clash Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

And his scoring instincts surfaced crucially before half-time at a stage when Meath had drawn level with Dublin after a strong scoring burst. O’Callaghan gathered the ball before side stepping goalkeeper Johnny Lynch and slamming the ball to the net.

That goal was a vital moment as Meath had posted three successive points before that to draw level at 0-6 apiece. Ruairi O Coileain and James McEntee had both looked dangerous in the Royals forward line.

Killian Deeley with Kevin Traynor and Ronan Jones Dublin and Meath players battle for the ball Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

In the second-half Meath kept in the hunt for honours in the third quarter with Daire Rowe accurate from frees. When Cahilan was sent-off in the 47th minute, Rowe shot over a free to cut Dublin’s lead – 1-7 to 0-8.

But despite being cut to 14 men, Dublin took over with O’Callaghan and Aaron Byrne – who also impressed – raising white flags.

They were able to close out the game as they outscored Meath 0-5 to 0-1 in the finale and booked a semi-final place against Laois or Wicklow, who will clash next Wednesday 9 March in Portlaoise.

Mikey Quinn Niall Quinn's son Mikey Quinn was Dublin's sub goalkeeper tonight Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Scorers for Dublin: Con O’Callaghan 1-7 (0-3f), Aaron Byrne 0-2, Darragh Spillane, Brian Howard, Michael Deegan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Meath: Daire Rowe 0-5 (0-4f), Ruairi O Coileain 0-2, Caolach Halligan, James McEntee 0-1 each.


1. Lorcan Molloy (St Annes)

4. Eoin Smith (Skerries Harps)
6. Sean McMahon (Raheny)
2. David Bolger (Ballymun Kickhams)

3. Martin Cahilan (Cuala)
22. Brian Howard (Raheny)
12. Cillian O’Shea (Kilmacud Crokes)

8. Andy Foley (Clontarf)
9. Killian Deeley (Na Fianna)

10. Tom Lahiff (St Judes)
14. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
5. Glenn O’Reilly (Na Fianna)

11. Michael Deegan (Donaghmore-Ashbourne)
15. Aaron Byrne (Na Fianna)
7. Darragh Spillane (Cuala)

17. Declan Monaghan (Clontarf) for Bolger (half-time)
23. Oisin Lynch (Fingallians) for Deegan (inj) (41)
21. Kieran Doherty (St Judes) for Foley (43)
19. Andrew McGowan (Kilmacud Crokes) for O’Reilly (48)
24. Chris Sallier (Thomas Davis) for Spillane (52)


1. Johnny Lynch (Moynalty)

2. Michael Flood (St Brigid’s)
3. Daniel O’Neill (Wolfe Tones)
4. Jamie Reilly (St Michael’s)

5. Gavin McGowan (Ratoath)
6. Thomas McGovern (Donaghmore/Ashbourne)
7. Neil Kane (Simonstown Gaels)

8. Donie Ryan (Skyrne)
9. Ronan Jones (St Peter’s Dunboyne)

13. Kevin Ryan (Summerhill)
12. James McEntee (capt) (Curraha)
10. Shaun Byrne (Donaghmore/Ashbourne)

11. Joey Wallace (Ratoath)
14. Ruairi Ó Coileain (Navan O Mahony’s)
15. Daire Rowe (Syddan)

24. Caolach Halligan (Rathkenny) for Wallace (inj) (11)
18. Kevin Traynor (Syddan) for McGowan (39)
21. Ben Duggan (Dunshaughlin) for Byrne (45)
22. Niall O’Reilly (Wolfe Tones) for Ryan (48)
17. Jack McCarney (Donaghmore/Ashbourne) for O’Neill (55)
23. Sean Meade (Nobber) for Kane (58)

Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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