Cormac Costello Stars As Dublin’s Drive For Five Begins With Impressive Win
Despite being reduced to fourteen men in the 24th minute of the first half Dublin cruised past Louth on Saturday evening to get their potentially historic drive for five journey comfortably underway.
Cormac Costello was the star of the show finishing with 1-12 to his name, with Dean Rock not available Costello took over the free taking duties and he clinically converted 10 frees and a 45’ in a top class display of dead ball striking.
Louth started brightly and might have been dreaming of a shock upset when Ryan Burns a last minute replacement opened the scoring with a well taken point.
Dublin though got straight down to business in O’Moore Park transitioning the ball at breakneck speed between the lines and were quickly level with a superbly struck 45’ from Cormac Costello
From that moment on Louth were forced onto the back foot and Jim Gavin’s side started to pick them apart.
The Wee County were thankful to their goalkeeper Fergal Sheekey who saved goal bound efforts from Con O’Callaghan and Niall Scully as Dublin piles on the pressure.
Points from Scully and Paul Mannion were followed by three converted frees from Costello and a second point from Mannion to put six points between the sides with the score 0-07 to 0-01.
Louth reduced the deficit with points from Andy McDonnell and Ryan Burns but in the 22nd minute the goal Dublin had threatened on a number of occasions finally came, Con O’Callghan drove down the centre of the Louth defence and the Cuala man finished to the net.
Two minutes later and Dublin were reduced to 14 men as Paul Mannion was issued a straight red card for what was deemed by the referee as a dangerous head high challenge on Conall McKeever.
It looked a harsh decision, yes Mannion was high with his attempted shoulder but it looked more accidental than malicious in nature and the Kilmacud Crokes man looked shocked at the referees decision to show him the line.
But it made little difference to the pattern of the game or the one way traffic heading in the direction of the Louth goal. Five more successful free attempts from Costello sent Dublin in at the break 11 points in front with the score 1-12 to 0-04.
The game was all but put to bed inside the opening four minutes of the second half as a point from open play from Costello was quickly followed by a goal from Brian Fenton who was excellent in midfield throughout the game.
That prompted Jim Gavin to start emptying his bench, he sent on Michael Darragh Macauley and Philly McMahon for Darren Gavin and Cian O’Sullivan.
Niall Scully extended the Dubs lead with an excellent point, then with 47 minutes on the clock came the biggest cheer of the evening as Gavin sent on Rory O’Carroll for his first competitive action since his return to the squad.
Macauley who looked sharp when he was introduced and he got on the end of another incisive Dublin move to finish to the net to put 19 points between the teams.
Goal number four arrived in the 54th minute and fittingly was scored by the man of the moment Cormac Costello.
Dublin would have been forgiven for taking their foot off the pedal at this stage but they drove relentlessly on and second half substitute Philly Mahon got in on the scoring act with a powerfully struck shot to the net for Dublin’s fifth goal of this Leinster SFC quarter final.
Four more points from Paddy Small, Kevin McManamon, Michael Fitzsimons and Brian Fenton rounded off the scoring for Jim Gavin’s side as they easily booked their Leinster SFC semi final spot and the next challenge in the drive for five.
Scorers for Dublin:
Cormac Costello 1-12 (10f, 1 ’45)
Brian Fenton 1-01
Con O’Callaghan 1-00
Philly McMahon 1-00
Michael Darragh Macauley 1-00
Paul Mannion 0-02
Niall Scully 0-02
Ciaran Kilkenny 0-01
Michael Fitzsimons 0-01
Kevin McManamon 0-01 (1f)
Paddy Small 0-01
Scorers for Louth:
Ryan Burns 0-04 (2f)
Jim McEneaney 0-02
Ciaran Downey 0-01
Andy McDonnell 0-01
Conal McKeever 0-01
Eoghan Callaghan 0-01
1. Stephen Cluxton
2. David Byrne
3. Michael Fitzsimons
4. Jack McCaffrey
5. James McCarthy
6. Cian O’Sullivan
7. John Small
8. Brian Fenton
9. Darren Gavin
10. Cormac Costello
11. Brian Howard
12. Ciarán Kilkenny
13. Paul Mannion
14. Con O’Callaghan
15. Niall Scully
19. Michael Darragh Macauley for Gavin (40)
22. Philly McMahon for O’Sullivan (41)
24. Rory O’Carroll for McCaffrey (47)
26. Paddy Small for O’Callaghan (47)
23. Kevin McManamon for Scully (54)
17. Sean Bugler for Costello (62)
1. Fergal Sheeky
3. Emmet Carolan
4. James Craven
2. Fergal Donohoe
5. Anthony Williams
6. Bevan Duffy
7. John Clutterbuck
8. Tommy Durnin
9. James Califf
10. Ciarán Downey
12. Conal McKeever
13. Andy McDonnell
11. Jim McEneaney
24. Ryan Burns
15. Declan Byrne
17. Dan Corcoran for Donohoe (HT)
14. Sam Mulroy for Byrne (HT)
21. Conor Early for Califf (42)
18. Derek Maguire for Clutterbuck (46)
20. Eoghan Callaghan for Duffy (54)
23. Eoghan Duffy for McEneaney (60)
Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)