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WE GUIDED YOU through every kick of the ball in Croke Park. Get in touch in the usual ways. 

Tweet us @The42GAA, find us on Facebook, send your emails to steve@the42.ie or leave a comment below.

Hello and welcome to our coverage to the 2015 Leinster football final.

This is very much a case of David versus Goliath but Westmeath fans will take heart from the fact their side has managed to score 7-54 in three championship games so far against Louth, Wexford and, of course, Meath.

However, Dublin have amassed 9-43 in just two facile wins over Longford and Kildare so fans of the Lake County have every reason to be fearful.

History is not on Tom Cribben’s men’s side either with Dublin claiming four of the last five championship meetings between the pair, Westmeath’s last win coming 11 years ago:

2013 – Dublin 1-22 Westmeath 0-9
2009 – Dublin 4-26 Westmeath 0-11
2008 – Dublin 0-13 Westmeath 1-8
2004 – Westmeath 0-14 Dublin 0-12
2000 – Dublin 1-14 Westmeath 0-11

The defending champions line-up exactly as Jim Gavin named them on Friday evening.

DUBLIN

1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells)

2. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
3. Rory O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes)
4. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)

5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
6. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Michael Darragh Macauley (Ballyboden St Endas)

10. Paul Flynn (Fingallians)
11. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)
12. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincents)

13. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
14. Kevin McManamon (St Judes)
15. Bernard Brogan (St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh)

There are two changes for the Westmeath from the side named earlier in the week with John Connellan and Daragh Daly missing out, 17. Frank Boyle (Killucan) and 24. David Lynch coming in.

Westmeath team

1. Darren Quinn (Tyrrellspass)

2. Killian Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks)
3. Kevin Maguire (Caulry)
4. John Gilligan (Ballymore)

5. Paddy Holloway (Castledaly)
6. Kieran Martin (Maryland)
7. James Dolan (Garrycastle)

8. Denis Corroon (Mullingar Shamrocks)
17. Frank Boyle (Killucan)

10. Ger Egan (Tyrrellspass, capt.)
11. Paul Sharry (St Loman’s)
12. Ray Connellan (Athlone)

24. David Lynch (St. Malachy’s)
14. John Heslin (St Loman’s)
15. Shane Dempsey (St Loman’s)

Here are the substitutes for today’s game:

DUBLIN: 16. Michael Savage (St. Vincent’s), 17. Paddy Andrews (St. Brigid’s), 18. Denis Bastick (Templeogue/Synge Street), 19. Tomás Brady (Na Fianna), 20. Alan Brogan (St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh), 21. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf), 22. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille), 23. Michael Fitzsimmons (Cuala), 24. Eric Lowndes (St. Peregrine’s), 25. Emmet Ó Conghaile (Lucan Sarsfields), 26. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams).

WESTMEATH: 16. Gary Connaughton (Tubberclair), 9. Daragh Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks), 18. John Egan (Athlone), 19. Ronan Foley (Coralstown/Kinnegad), 20. Ciarain Gavin (Mullingar Shamrocks), 21. Denis Glennon (Tyrrellspass), 22. Jamie Gonoud (Tyrrellspass), 23. Paul Greville (Killucan), 13. John Connellan (Athlone), 25. Callum McCormack (Maryland), 26. Alan Stone (Castledaly).

The crowd stands for the national anthem and we’re almost under way.

1Mins

Dublin 0-0 Westmeath 0-0

Joe McQuillan from Cavan starts the 2015 Leinster football final.

2Mins

Westmeath 0-1 Dublin 0-0

John Heslin gets the first score of the game from a close-range free. He’s the only Westmeath man with 45 yards of goal too.

3Mins

Westmeath 0-1 Dublin 0-0

Diarmuid Connolly asks for Hawk-Eye as he’s sure his shot is over but the technology says Níl.

5Mins

Westmeath 0-1 Dublin 0-0

Joe McQuillian gives Westmeath the advantage but eventually calls it back for a free. Kieran Martin takes this one with his left and it goes horribly wide.

7Mins

Westmeath 0-1 Dublin 0-1

After Dublin string together two dozen passes, Philly McMahon points a lovely score.

9Mins

Westmeath 0-1 Dublin 0-1

Yellow: Michael Darragh Macauley picks up the game’s first for an off-the-ball incident.

12Mins

Westmeath 0-1 Dublin 0-1

An awful lot of the play so far has been in the middle of the park and Dublin’s shooting hasn’t exactly been stellar so far, their last two efforts dropping well short.

13Mins

Dublin 0-2 Westmeath 0-1 

Dublin lead for the first time, James McCarthy with the effort.

14Mins

Dublin 0-3 Westmeath 0-1 

Michael Darragh Macauley storms through and fists over to make it a two-point game.

16Mins

Dublin 0-3 Westmeath 0-1 

Lots of complaints on social media about Westmeath’s defensive tactics but it’s worth remembering that Kildare were already beaten at this stage.

18Mins

Dublin 0-4 Westmeath 0-1

The defending champions now lead by three points after Dean Rock’s tap-over free.

19Mins

Dublin 0-5 Westmeath 0-1

A soft free for Dublin there but Rock doesn’t care as he makes it a quick-fire double.

24Mins

Dublin 0-5 Westmeath 0-1

Yellow Cards: John Heslin and Jonny Cooper both see a flash of yellow for an incident in the Dublin defence.

26Mins

Dublin 0-5 Westmeath 0-2

Heslin has his and Westmeath’s second score from a free. The gap is down to three.

27Mins

Dublin 0-5 Westmeath 0-2

Diarmuid Connolly points a lovely score, his first of the day and Dublin lead by four again.

28Mins

Dublin 0-7 Westmeath 0-2

The first real goal chance for Dublin but Ciaran Kilkenny’s blasted effort goes over.

31Mins

Dublin 0-7 Westmeath 0-3

Kieran Martin with Westmeath’s first score from play with four minutes to the break.

33Mins

Dublin 0-7 Westmeath 0-3

Kilkenny with Dublin’s seventh wide of the game.

34Mins

Dublin 0-7 Westmeath 0-4

John Heslin kicks his third point, his first from play.

35Mins

Dublin 0-8 Westmeath 0-4

Kilkenny makes amends for his earlier miss to make it double scores almost immediately.

We’ll have one minute of additional time.

Well now. That’s not exactly the high-scoring, free-flowing affair many Dublin fans would have expected and while it may not be a spectacle, it’s certainly an intriguing affair.

Join us for the second half shortly.

Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

“Barcelona would have trouble getting through this blanket defence.”

- Colm O’Rourke at half-time on The Sunday Game Live.

36Mins

The second half is under way and we’ve three changes.

23. Michael Fitzsimmons replaces Jonny Cooper for Dublin while 20. Ciarain Gavin and 23. Paul Greville are on for Shane Dempsey and David Lynch.

38Mins

Dublin 0-9 Westmeath 0-4

Dublin really forgot their shooting boots today as another effort, this time from a Dean Rock free, drops short.

Diarmuid Connolly didn’t get the memo though and he slices over his second point.

42Mins

Dublin 2-10 Westmeath 0-5

And just like that, this game is over. Two goals in the space of a minute as Dublin finally put pressure on the Westmeath kickout. Brogan and McCaffery with the maximums.

Connolly and Martin exchange points.

47Mins

Dublin 2-10 Westmeath 0-6

Frank Boyle gets his first point of the day to reduce the gap to 10.

Sub: Kevin McManamon is replaced by 17. Paddy Andrews

51Mins

The view moments before Bernard Brogans goal.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Sub: 18. Denis Bastick is on for Michael Darragh Macauley while 25. Callum McCormack replaces Ray Connellan for Westmeath.

53Mins

Dublin 2-10 Westmeath 0-6

Sub: 21 Denis Glennon is on for Paddy Holloway.

55Mins

Dublin 2-10 Westmeath 0-6

Sub: 20. Alan Brogan replaces Dean Rock with 15 minutes to play.

56Mins

Dublin 2-11 Westmeath 0-6

And like he did against Kildare, Alan Brogan points with his first touch of the ball.

62Mins

Dublin 2-11 Westmeath 0-6

Kilkenny scores a lovely point for Dublin and they’re still in first gear.

Subs: 26. John Small is on for Philly McMahon while 18. John Egan is on in place of John Heslin for Westmeath. Worrying for the Lake County ahead of the Qualifiers.

66Mins

Dublin 2-13 Westmeath 0-6

Croke Park is devoid of all atmosphere with five minutes to play. You’d never think Dublin were about to win a provincial title. Brogan (Bernard) adds another point.

Sub: 19. Tomás Brady replaces Diarmuid Connolly

There you go, for the second time in 11 years, Dublin have made it five Leinster titles in a row. Westmeath only managed two points in the second half.

We’re sorry you had to endure that — unless of course you’re a Dublin fan — but you’d have to worry about what benefit the Leinster championship has been to Dublin as they get set for tougher tests from the All-Ireland quarter-finals on.

About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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