Dublin survive Meath revival
By Darragh Walsh
Dublin booked their place in the 2021 Leinster Senior Championship Final on Sunday afternoon in an entertaining encounter against Meath in Croke Parke. The reigning All Ireland Champions had to see off a strong second half come back from their opposition, but three points in the final two minutes of the contest saw Dessie Farrell’s side emerge victorious by a margin of six at the final whistle.
Con O’Callaghan opened the games scoring with a point which was quickly followed by a converted Dean Rock free. Eamon Wallace replied for Meath with a single. The sides’ centre forwards exchanged score as Ciaran Kilkenny and Bryan McMahon both put the ball between the posts. Cormac Costello opened his tally for the day raising both a green and a white flag. The first quarter ended with a couple of singles from the visitors as Mathew Costello converted a 45 and Jordan Morris added his first point of the game.
Dublin dominated the second quarter, outscoring their opposition 1-7 to 2 points. Paddy Small, Kilkenny and Costello all raised white flags before Con O’Callaghan found the net for Dublin’s second goal of the game. Kilkenny added his third point and O’Callaghan tagged on a couple of singles before Meath ended their scoreless fifteen-minute spell. Wallace and Costello replied with points for Meath before Rock kicked the final score of the half for Dublin to leave eleven points between the sides.
Meath needed scores quickly after the restart and that is exactly what they got. Costello found the back of the Dublin net only a minute into the second half. Joey Wallace and Morris both added two points to reduce the difference between the teams to only four points. Kilkenny replied for Dublin while Cillian Sullivan opened his tally for Meath. Costello extended Dublin’s lead back to five before the second waterbreak with his third point of the game.
Meath managed to get within three points of the Dublin through points from James McEntee and Thomas O’Reilly but three points in the final three minutes of the game saw Dublin emerge victorious as Dean Rock, Costello and Kilkenny all put the ball over the bar.
Dublin: Evan Comerford, Michael Fitzsimons, David Byrne, Johnny Cooper, Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne, Brian Howard, Seán MacMahon, Brian Fenton, James McCarthy, Dean Rock, Ciaran Kilkenny, Niall Scully, Paddy Small, Con O’Callaghan, Cormac Costello. Subs Used: Tom Lahiff for Byrne, Colm Basquel for Rock, Cian Murphy for MacMahon, Sean Bugler for Small.
Meath: Harry Hogan, Donal Keogan, Conor McGill, Seamus Lavin, Fionn Reilly, Shane McEntee, Cathal Hickey, Padriag Harnan, Bryan Menton, Mathew Costello, Bryan McMahon, Eamon Wallace, Joey Wallace, Cillian O’Sullivan, Jordan Morris. Subs used: Thomas O’Reilly for McMahon, Ronan Jones for Reilly, Ethan Devine for Costello.
Dublin: Cormac Costello 1-4(1-0f), Con O’Callaghan 1-3, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-5, Dean Rock 0-2, Paddy Small, Brian Fenton 0-1 each.
Meath: Mathew Costello 1-2(0-1f), Jordan Morris 0-3(0-1f), Joey Wallace, Eamon Wallace 0-2 each, Thomas O’Reilly, Bryan McMahon, Cillian O’Sullivan, James McEntee 0-1 each.