Dublin win Leinster football final

November 8, 2018


Mannion’s goal crucial as Dubs keep Royals at bay


DUBLIN 2-15 MEATH 0-14

Dublin are Leinster senior football champions for the 52nd time as they completed a three in-a-row as they continued their domination of the province with victory over Meath in Sunday’s final at Croke Park.
The Dubs improved on their fitful first half display, winning more breaking ball in the middle of the field and upping their tempo to take control in the second half and complete a Leinster Senior Championship double (football and hurling) for the first time since 1942.
Meath led 0-9 to 1-4 at the break as Dublin failed to score from the 23rd minute on as the Meath attack, particularly Michael Newman and Stephen Bray, caused major problems for the Dublin defence as the Royals scored six unanswered points to deservedly lead at the interval.
Dublin’s goal arrived in the fifth minute when Paul Flynn rifled to the net off his left foot following unselfish play by Paul Mannion.
The crucial score game in the 60th minute when Paul Mannion showed great poacher’s instinct to fire to the net off the deck after Meath keeper Paddy O’Rourke had denied Kevin O’Brien – but the move could be traced back to a Dublin sideline in their own half following a superb shoulder by James McCarthy on Meath’s Graham Reilly.
Mannion’s input into Dublin’s victory was excellent as he constantly showed for the ball and caused problems with his pace for Meath defender Mickey Burke. But around him the Dublin attacking play was not as smooth are penetrative as had been in their earlier championship games as Meath’s game-plan to clog up their central channels worked effectively.
Dublin’s restart to the second half was central to their victory with points from the influential Ciarán Kilkenny, Bernard Brogan (free) and Paul Flynn.
Both sides had goal scoring chances in the second half with Stephen Cluxton’s reflexes saving his side on several occasions while Diarmuid Connolly had a goal bound shot cleared off the line by Burke.
However, there was nothing they could do to stop Mannion’s goal ten minutes from time as the Dubs ran out victors but with a lot of food for thought.

SCORERS – Dublin: P Mannion 1-4 (0-2f), P Flynn 1-1, S Cluxton (0-2f, 0-1 ’45′), C Kilkenny 0-3 each, D Rock 0-2 (0-1f), D Connolly, B Brogan (0-1f) 0-1 each. Meath: M Newman 0-8 (0-35f), S Bray, E Wallace 0-2 each, B Meade, J Sheridan 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: S Cluxton; J Cooper, R O’Carroll, K O’Brien; J McCarthy, G Brennan, J McCaffrey; MD Macauley, C O’Sullivan; P Flynn, C Kilkenny, D Connolly; P Mannion, E O’Gara, B Brogan. Subs: Subs: D Bastick for O’Sullivan (47), K McManamon for O’Gara (47), D Daly for Brennan (58), D Rock for Brogan (60), B Cullen for Connolly (66).
MEATH: P O’Rourke; D Keogan, K Reilly, M Burke; S Kenny, P Harnan, B Menton; B Meade, C Gillespie; E Wallace, D Carroll, G Reilly; P Byrne, S Bray, M Newman. Subs: P Gilsenan for Byrne (42), C Lenehan for Kenny (50), J Sheridan for Carroll (52), A Tormey for Meade (60), D McDonagh for Wallace (66).
ATT: 54,485.