Dublin 2019 Leinster Senior Football Champions
June 24th, 2019
DUBLIN 1-17 MEATH 0-4
By Michael Devlin at Croke Park
The score-line would suggest a thrashing, but in truth, there wasnt much between Meath and Dublin for the vast majority of this Leinster SFC final.
Meath will deplore their wide count, 12 to Dublins five. They were dogged in defence but listless in attack in an error-ridden first half, with both teams only creating eight scoring chances from play in a caustic opening 35 minutes.
That poor shooting continued into the second half for the Royals, and Dublin eventually found the right gear to run up a sixteen-point winning lead and collect their ninth consecutive Leinster title.
The Royals were matching Dublin step-for-step in midfield and defence early on but couldnt convert their combativeness to scores on the board. Dublin meanwhile were far from vintage, but they eventually cut through for the games first score in the 11th minute from Ciaran Kilkenny. Jack McCaffrey used his searing pace to race through and add a second shortly after.
Cormac Costello and Paul Mannion caused torment to Kildare in the semi-final, and the duo both opened their accounts to put Dublin four up by the 15th minute, Brian Howard following up with a point from play soon after.
Con OCallaghan was Dublins only forward yet to score, and the Cuala man had a sight of goal as he bore through the Meath defence, only to be dragged back as he lined up the shot. Referee Sean Hurson awarded a penalty, but Mannions effort cannoned off the base of Andrew Colgans left upright.
In the 32nd minute Meath finally broke their duck, Bryan Menton landing a score from distance. The teams went in at the break with the score at a lowly 0-5 to 0-1, although Meath should have been closer only for six wides.
Meaths shooting hadnt improved any after the interval, and they spurned several opportunities to land the first score of the second half. Instead it was Jack McCaffrey who supplied it for the Dubs with a fisted point, before Costello added a 45 to extend their lead to six.
Micky Newman raised the white flag for Meaths second score of the day in the 44th minute, but Costello followed up with one of his own before Philly McMahon roved up the field to split the posts from distance.
Newman took on the blue defence and was rewarded with a score, but Dublin broke the ten-point threshold when Mannion landed over a fine score off his left in the 51st minute, before Brian Fenton finished off a measured move with a point.
Dean Rock marked his introduction onto the field with a pointed free, after Mannion had chipped over his third of the afternoon as Dublin began to put daylight between the sides. The Ballymun man added two more from play soon after as the game entered its final ten minutes.
Paddy Andrews also came off the bench to get on the scoresheet, before the game was well and truly put to bed when OCallaghan found room to bury the ball in the Meath net.
Rocks fourth point of his short afternoon brought Dublin to 1-8 on the trot, that run eventually brought to an end when Newman finished off a rare Meath attack with a point.
The rain began to drizzle down, but it wouldnt dampen a satisfactory afternoon for Jim Gavins men who tightened their grip on the Delaney Cup.
Dublin scorers:Dean Rock 0-4 1f, Paul Mannion 0-3, Cormac Costello 0-3 2 45s 1f, Con OCallaghan 1-0, Jack McCaffrey 0-2, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-1, Brian Howard 0-1, Philly McMahon 0-1, Brian Fenton 0-1, Paddy Andrews 0-1.
Meath scorers:Mickey Newman 0-3 1f, Bryan Menton 0-1.
DUBLIN:Stephen Cluxton; David Byrne, Michael Fitzsimons, Jack McCaffrey; James McCarthy, Cian OSullivan, John Small; Brian Fenton, Philly McMahon; Niall Scully, Cormac Costello, Brian Howard; Ciaran Kilkenny, Paul Mannion, Con OCallaghan.