Dublin relentless in their demolition of Meath to claim their 10th Leinster Championship title on the trot

Dublin’s Dean Rock who put in a player of the match performance finishing with 1-07to his name as Dublin claimed their 10th Leinster Championship title in a row.
Dean Rock finished with 1-07 to his name in a Player of the Match performance as Dublin claimed their 10th Leinster Championship title in a row.

Dublin 3-21

Meath 0-09

Dublin put on a display of total football in Croke Park this evening to demolish Meath and claim their 10th Leinster Championship title in a row.

Dessie Farrell’s side strangled the life out of their opponents Meath right from the off aggressively pressurising the Meath restarts penning them into their own half for long periods.

Dublin’s work rate was phenomenal throughout, Meath players in possession were met with relentless pressure from Dublin players in every line of the pitch forcing turnovers and mistakes in a show disciplined aggressive defending from their defence to their attack and it sent out a clear message to those still left in the race for the Sam Maguire.

The evening began with a stunning heartfelt tribute to the 14 victims of Bloody Sunday to mark the 100th anniversary of that faithful day at the Jones Road venue.

With the ceremonial part of the evening over Dublin got straight down to business. Meath got a free from the throw-in and the ball was worked to Bryan Menton who swung over the first point of the Leinster Final.

Seconds later it was all square with Paddy Small swinging over the Dubs opening score from a forward mark. Dessie Farrell’s men took the lead with a Dean Rock converted free.

It was all square again in the eight minute when James McCarthy was turned over in possession and Meath’s Jordan Morris took full advantage to score his sides second point.

The Dublin response was ruthless, Stephen Cluxton picked out an unmarked Con O’Callaghan around the middle, he picked out Niall Scully who in turn knocked the ball into the path of the onrushing Brian Fenton, Fenton hamdpased the ball to his right to Dean Rock on the edge of the square and Rock drilled the ball low into the bottom left corner of the net for the opening goal of the final.

That goal opened the floodgates and with Dublin aggressively pressurising the Meath kick-out the points came thick and fast from Paddy Small from a forward mark, two apiece from Dean Rock and Ciaran Kilkenny and one from Con O’Callaghan stretched Dublin into a 2-08 to 0-02 lead with fourteen minutes still to play in the opening half.

The game was all but put to bed in the 23rd minute, Robbie McDaid broke forward, passed to John Small who picked out Sean Bugler who drove through the Meath defence, he picked out McDaid who had continued his run forward to the edge of the square, McDaid falling to his knees handpassed back into Bugler’s path and Sean palmed the ball to the net.

Paddy Small, two Dean Rock converted dead ball strikes, one from a 45’ the other from a free and a point from Niall Scully gave Dessie Farrell’s outfit a 2-12 to 0-02 half-time lead and Meath were all but down and out.

Jonny Cooper picked up an injury just before the short whistle and was replaced for the second half by Brian Howard.

Dublin though continued were they left off with a point in the opening minute of the second period from a converted free from Player of the Match Dean Rock who finished with 1-07 on the night.

Meath responded a Thomas O’Reilly free and point from Cillian O’Sullivan. But Dublin were relentless and hit seven unanswered points from Ciaran Kilkenny(2), John Small, Con O’Callaghan, Sean Bugler and a free each from Rock and second half substitute Paul Mannion.

Farrell began to empty his bench and that gave Meath a little more possession and they hit three unanswered of their own from Jason Scully, Joey Wallace and Jordan Morris.

Dublin were then reduced to 14 when substitute Cormac Costello was shown a straight red. Costello challenged for a ball with a Meath player alongside the sideline, the ball went over the line and their was an exchange of words between the linesman and Costello and the official signalled to the Referee and Derek O’Mahoney brandished a red to the amazement of Costello.

A Sean Bugler point disrupted the mini fight back from the Royal County but Andy McEntee’s side pushed forward again and Jordan Morris helped himself to two more points.

The last action of this Leinster Final though was left to the Dubs, Kevin McManamon introduced in the second half collected the ball on the Meath 45’ and took off towards the goal, Meath goalkeeper Mark Brennan got a hand to McManamon’s shot at goal but Niall Scully was on hand to palm the ball to the net for Dublin’s third goal of the night.

The final whistle blew shortly afterwards and Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton climb the steps of the Hogan Stand on an emotional night in GAA Headquarters to lift his sides 10th Leinster Championship title in a row.

Moments later the Dublin team led by captain Stephen Cluxton walked over to the spot where Michael Hogan was shot dead by British Forces in 1920 to lay a wreath, a fitting end to an emotional night.

 

Dublin Scorers

 

15. Dean Rock 1-07 (5f, 1 ’45)

12. Sean Bugler 1-02

11. Ciaran Kilkenny 0-04

10. Niall Scully 1-01

13. Paddy Small 0-03 (2 Forward Marks)

14. Con O’Callaghan 0-02

6. John Small 0-01

23. Paul Mannion 0-01

 

Meath Scorers

 

13. Jordan Morris 0-04 (1f)

8. Bryan Menton 0-01

15. Thomas O’Reilly 0-01 (1f)

10. Cillian O’Sullivan 0-01

23. Jason Scully 0-01

22. Joey Wallace 0-01 (1 Forward Mark)

 

Dublin

 

1. Stephen Cluxton

2. Michael Fitzsimons

3. Jonny Cooper

4. Eoin Murchan

5. James McCarthy

6. John Small

7. Robert McDaid

8. Brian Fenton

19. David Byrne

10. Niall Scully

11. Ciaran Kilkenny

12. Sean Bugler

13. Paddy Small

14. Con O’Callaghan

15. Dean Rock

 

Dublin Substitutions

 

21. Brian Howard for 3. Jonny Cooper (HT)

23. Paul Mannion for 13. Paddy Small (41)

22. Eric Lowndes for 6. John Small (53)

20. Cormac Costello for 14. Con O’Callaghan (58)

25. Kevin McManamon for 11. Ciaran Kilkenny (65)

 

Meath

 

1. Mark Brennan

2. Seamus Lavin

3. Conor McGill

4. David Toner

5. Donal Keogan

6. Shane McEntee

7. Matthew Costello

8. Bryan Menton

9. Ronan Jones

10. Cillian O’Sullivan

11. Bryan McMahon

12. Ronan Ryan

13. Jordan Morris

14. Shane Walsh

15. Thomas O’Reilly

 

Meath Substitutions

 

18. Cathal Hickey for 4. David Toner (43)

19. Eoin Harkin for 3. Conor McGill (43)

21. Ethan Devine for 7. Matthew Costello (46)

23. Jason Scully for 11. Bryan McMahon (52)

22. Joey Wallace for 15. Thomas O’Reilly (53)

 

Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary)

 

Player of the Match: Dean Rock