Dublin blitzed Westmeath in the second half of this Leinster Final Flashback
Despite a tough first half the end result was never in doubt as Dublin made history to lift a sixth consecutive Leinster title in front of the 38,885 crowd in Croke Park, a fete not done since the 70’s.
Westmeath’s game plan in the first half was again on the money, similar to the previous year, fielding two sweepers Francis Boyle and Callum McCormack, who really got under the skin of the Dubs, but second half rejigging by boss Jim Gavin helped to eventually break Westmeath down for the win.
Like 2015, the first half was a real struggle, with many flash points, including an incident where Diarmuid Connolly had his hair ruffled by James Dolan, and reacted by grabbing the Westmeath player in a headlock. Referee Fergal Kelly issued two yellow cards after consulting with his officials. Westmeath suffered a major blow in the 34th minute when Ray Connellan went off on a stretcher.
With all that went on Kelly played eight additional minutes at the end of the half and Westmeath did everything they could to stay close to Dublin with the score at 0-07 to 0-06.
Dublin Change Gears
Unfortunately for the midlanders, that would be as good as it got, as on script, Dublin opened up their shoulders and went at their opponents.
As the clock ticked the lead increased. Bernard Brogan finished a flowing team move for Dublin’s first goal with 12 minutes left. Substitute Paddy Andrews, Jonny Cooper and Brian Fenton were involved in a massive surge upfield, and when Fenton provided the assist, Brogan was on hand to palm the ball home at the old Canal End.
A minute from time, Kevin McManamon burst through for a second and while Darren Quinn got a hand to the ball, the Westmeath goalkeeper couldn’t keep it out.
At the end of the contest, it just seemed far to easy for Dublin to breakdown Westmeath. Any one would wonder just why it took so long.
Scorers for Dublin:
Dean Rock 0-08 (8f)
Bernard Brogan 1-04
Kevin McManamon 1-02
Paddy Andrews 0-02
John Small 0-01
Paul Flynn 0-01
Diarmuid Connolly 0-01
Scorers for Westmeath:
John Heslin 0-06 (5f)
Ger Egan 0-02
Denis Corroon 0-01
Callum McCormack 0-01
1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells)
2. Philip McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
3. John Cooper (Na Fianna)
4. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)
5. Eric Lowndes (St. Peregrine’s)
6. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)
8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Michael Darragh MacAuley (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
10. Paul Flynn (Fingallians)
11. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s)
12. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)
13. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
14. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s)
15. Bernard Brogan (St. Oliver Plunkett’s-Eoghan Ruadh)
17. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s) for Lowndes (H/T)
25. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala) for MacAuley (48)
18. Denis Bastick (Templeogue-Synge Street) for Connolly (53)
22. Darren Daly (Fingal Ravens) for Small (57)
23. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala) for O’Sullivan (61)
24. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes) for Rock (63)
1. Darren Quinn (Tyrrellspass)
2. Kevin Maguire (Caulry)
3. Francis Boyle (Killucan)
4. Killian Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks)
5. Jamie Gonoud (Tyrrellspass)
6. Alan Stone (Castledaly)
7. James Dolan (Garrycastle)
8. Denis Corroon (Mullingar Shamrocks)
9. Ger Egan (Tyrrellspass – captain)
10. David Lynch (St Malachy’s)
11. Paul Sharry (St Loman’s Mullingar)
12. Ray Connellan (Athlone)
13. Kieran Martin (Maryland)
14. John Heslin (St Loman’s Mullingar)
15. Callum McCormack (Maryland)
18. Darragh Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks) for Connellan (35)
25. Shane Corcorcan (Milltownpass) for Lynch (53)
23. Sam Duncan (Milltownpass) for Daly (55)
17. John Connellan (Athlone) for Martin (59)
24. Rob Gorman (Moate All Whites) for Maguire (61)
21. Dean McNicholas (Tyrrellspass) for Sharry (65)