Another Dublin v Meath Leinster Championship Final in store this weekend, we look back at the last one
June 23rd 2019, Croke Park
This weekend is the 64th Dublin v Meath Football Championship meeting. Of the 63 to date Dublin have picked up 36 wins, Meath have won 19, with 8 of the games ending in a draw. And in last year’s Leinster Championship decider, Dublin claimed a historic 9th consecutive Delaney Cup victory.
Meath could only manage four points in the entire game against a Dublin side that hardly played out of second gear. Jim Gavin’s men would have had a tougher A v’s B game in the lead up to today’s game.
Apart from becoming the first side to win 9 provincial titles in a row, Dublin also equalled Wexford’s 100 year record of 18 consecutive championship victories.
A slow start saw Dublin finally grab the game
It took a full 11 minutes for the first score of the game, a poor kick-out by Meath goalkeeper Andrew Colgan was intercepted and Ciaran Kilkenny swept the ball over the bar.
Dublin were two to the good a minute later with a point from the marauding Jack McCaffrey. Jim Gavin’s side were cutting through the Meath defence with ease and McCaffrey almost scored the first major of the game but his shot was blocked for a 45’ which was converted by Cormac Costello.
An excellent point from the Cusack Stand side by Paul Mannion put Dublin four points in front and the writing was already on the wall for Andy McEntee’s side.
Another defence splitting move yielded another point for Dublin. Brian Howard fisted the ball over the bar. Seconds later and the Sky Blues were awarded a penalty for a foul on Con O’Callaghan.
Regular spot kick taker Paul Mannion stepped up but his well hit shot struck the base of the post and Meath cleated the danger.
Dublin were dealt a blow with three minutes left in the first half when James McCarthy was forced off with an injury and replaced by Michael Darragh Macauley
Meath finally troubled the scoreboard in the 33rd minute with a Bryan Menton point it was to be their only score of the half although they did hit three efforts off the post and dropped point attempts short into Stephen Cluxton’s hands.
The half time whistle sounded in the Leinster Championship Final with Dublin leading by four on a scoreline of 0-05 to 0-01.
The close score was no reflection on a powerful Dublin performance
Although it was a low scoring first 35 minutes Dublin had completely dominated the proceedings playing in first gear and the worry for Meath was why would happen when the Dubs went through the other gears.
The second half opened with a Jack McCaffrey point and in the 49th minute the Dublin lead was out to six points with a converted free from Cormac Costello.
Meath’s Mickey Newman and Cormac Costello swapped frees and Philly McMahon broke up field to score a nice point.
Another Mickey Newman point into the Hill 16 end drew a cheer from the Dublin support, but that’s as good as it got for the Royal County as the Dubs shifted Into second gear to hit 1-08 without reply.
Paul Mannion got the ball rolling with a point about 35 metres out. Brian Fenton got in on the act with one of his own and Mannion popped over his third of the game.
Dean Rock was back in the squad after injury and was sprung from the bench. The Ballymun Kickhams man gave Jim Gavin a reminder of what he brings to the team with a string super points.
His first was a customary accurate free attempt he followed that up with a beauty from the Cusack Stand side and seconds later popped up over by the Hogan Stand to sweep over another excellent point.
Paddy Small was introduced from the bench in the 62nd minute but his appearance was cut short just three minutes later due to injury with Paddy Andrews coming on in his place.
The St Brigids man hit a nice shot over the sweet spot two minutes later as the Dubs started to disappear over the Meath horizon.
They were completely out of sight with two minutes left of normal time when Con O’Callaghan scored a brilliant goal into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
As the game headed into injury time Dean Rock scored his fourth point since being introduced from the bench and just before the final whistle Mickey Newman scored a consolation fourth point for Meath.
As the downpour got heavier the final whistle went and a 9th Leinster Championship title in a row was secured by the history making Dubs.
Dean Rock 0-04 (1f)
Cormac Costello 0-03 (1 45, 2f)
Con O’Callaghan 1-00
Paul Mannion 0-03
Jack McCaffrey 0-02
Philly McMahon 0-01
Paddy Andrews 0-01
Ciaran Kilkenny 0-01
Brian Fenton 0-01
Brian Howard 0-01
Michael Newman 0-03 (1f)
Bryan Menton 0-01
1. Stephen Cluxton
2. David Byrne
3. Michael Fitzsimons
20. Philly McMahon
4. Jack McCaffrey
6. Cian O’Sullivan
7. John Small
8. Brian Fenton
5. James McCarthy
10. Niall Scully
11. Cormac Costello
12. Brian Howard
13. Ciarán Kilkenny
14. Paul Mannion
15. Con O’Callaghan
9. Michael Darragh Macauley for McCarthy (32, inj)
25. Dean Rock for Howard (52)
21. Kevin McManamon for Costello (58)
26. Paddy Small for Kilkenny (62)
17. Paddy Andrews for Paddy Small (65, inj)
23. Rory O’Carroll for McCaffrey (68)
1. Andrew Colgan
2. Seamus Lavin
3. Conor McGill
4. Shane Gallagher
5. Donal Keogan
6. Ronan Ryan
20. Shane McEntee
8. Bryan Menton
19. Graham Reilly
10. Ben Brennan
11. Bryan McMahon
12. James McEntee
13. Cillian O’Sullivan
14. Michael Newman
15. James Conlon
18. Sean Tobin for Brennan (38)
23. Ethan Devine for Reilly (40)
17. Thomas O’Reilly for Conlon (54)
22. Barry Dardis for Shane McEntee (58)
21. Sean Curran for Gallagher (65)
26. Thomas McGovern for McMahon (65)