Two Goals in 45 seconds and retribution in this Dublin v Meath Leinster Final Flashback
In 2010, Meath had delivered a blow to Dublin, knocking them out of the Leinster Football Championship in the Semi Finals, ending a run of five consecutive titles that started in 2005. And with the Royals only reaching the Quarter Finals in 2011, and being relegated to Division 3 in the 2012 League campaign, they had done a massive job of reaching the Leinster Final.
Dublin had beaten Louth and Wexford on their road to July 22nd and were not going to forget what had happened two years prior.
As expected the game got off to a fast and rough start and Graham Reilly settled Meath with the opening score after cutting through the middle of the Dublin defence. Bernard Brogan capitalised on a foul on Michael Darragh Macauley with a close range free to reset the board.
From here Dublin would run 0-05 unanswered. Kevin McManamon hooking one over from his left, Bernard Brogan scoring from close range after a fine pass from brother Alan. Bernard then converted a free after being fouled by Kevin Reilly, and Alan got one of his own after a fantastic deep run from James McCarthy to link up. Kevin McManamon burned past Donal Keoghan only for the defender to clip Kevin, and it was up to Bernard Brogan to oblige and convert another free.
On 24 minutes Meath had clawed three scores back thanks to two Brian Farrell frees and one from play from Stephen Bray. But Dublin had some more in the tank, and Alan Brogan swung a beautiful score in from the left to bring the gap back out to 0-03. Unfortunately it would be Alan’s last score as two minutes Pat Gilroy was forced to bring Eoghan O’Gara on as Alan seemed to pick up an injury.
Two Goal Salvo
Farrell curled another free over for Meath with 4 minutes of normal time left on the clock giving the Royals a smaller gap to close. But it didn’t last long as Dublin would raise two green flags less than a minute apart to kill to first half completely.
The first of the two started outside the D with Macauley receiving the ball from Brogan continuing his run. Macauley made a quick exchange to O’Gara who charged forward noticing Brogan to his right. A quick pass put Brogan in perfect position to drive the ball under David Gallagher and into the net.
To add to Meath’s woes, Dublin completely caught them off guard on the resulting kick out. Paul Flynn gained possession and made a short pass forward to Brogan. Bernard returned to ball to Flynn who had spotted Denis Bastick in a mountain of space up ahead, and with a high pass, Bastick caught it coming down opened his shoulders and rocketed the ball into the goal to make the Hill explode and bring the half to a close.
Seamus McEnaney’s side got the second half underway as Brian Farrell turned Michael Fitzsimons to clip a score over, but Bernard Brogan immediately matched his skill at the other end. Farrell caused some trouble minutes later from a Conor Gillespie pass and his shot produced an amazing one handed stop by Cluxton in the Dublin goal to force a ’45 which Farrell converted. At the other end Macauley saw his shot had beaten Gallagher onto to cannon off the post and wide.
Dublin sub Paddy Andrews has an immediate impact forcing a foul which Brogan easily knocks over. Confusion reigns three minutes later as Eoghan O’Gara bares down on goal and unleashes a shot that screams over the bar. The umpire initially adjudges it to have gone wide but the big screen replay confirms that it went inside the upright and after consulting with his linesman, referee Marty Duffy orders the white flag to be raised. The Dubs follow that up with a lovely point by wing-back James McCarthy. They are ten points up and hold a commanding lead.
Two scores in two minutes for Meath as Brian Farrell slots over a free after Jamie Queeney was pulled back by Rory O’Carroll. Donnacha Tobin runs deep from a wing back position to blaze the second one over but time is ticking for this Meath side to close a huge gap.
O’Gara sends another over for Dublin from a Barry Cahill pass but minutes later a short Cluxton kick out puts Fitzsimons under pressure, and fouls Queeney to concede a free, which Farrell coverts. Not giving up, Meath get a couple more. Graham Reilly has a goal chance but under pressure blasts it over the bar, and Farrell converts his sixth free of the game.
With 3 minutes of normal time to go Meath finally get a life line and close the gap to 0-03. A move that started in midfield saw Mark Collins, Cian Ward and Farrell all link up to eventually find Queeney who was in the perfect position to slot the ball neatly past both O’Carroll and Cluxton to raise the green flag with enough time on the clock to make the difference.
But Dublin’s talisman Bernard Brogan had one score left to add to his 1-06 for the day, firing over the vital score to give Dublin the insurance. Graham Reilly’s score before additional time would only restore the gap to three points as Dublin ran out the clock to retain the title.
Bernard Brogan 1-07 (4f)
Denis Bastick 1-00
Alan Brogan 0-02
Eoghan O’Gara 0-02
Kevin McManamon 0-01
James MCCarthy 0-01
Brian Farrell 0-07 (6f)
Jamie Queeney 1-00
Graham Reilly 0-03
Stephen Bray 0-01
Joe Sheridan 0-01 (1 ‘45)
Donnacha Tobin 0-01
Michael Darragh MacAuley
Eoghan O’Gara for Alan Brogan (31)
Paddy Andrews for Kevin McManamon (49)
Barry Cahill for Eamonn Fennell (56)
Craig Dias for Paul Flynn (59)
Paul Brogan for Bryan Cullen (65)
Eoghan Harrington for Kevin Reilly (24)
Peadar Byrne for Damien Carroll (H/T)
Jamie Queeney for Brian Meade (45)
Mark Collins for Stephen Bray (56)
(video credit: GAACointothemoon via YouTube)