Byrne leads rampant Dubs to historic four-in-a-row
Dublin 2-14 Offaly 0-8
Con O'Callaghan didn't shoot the lights out this time. Colm Basquel didn't even play. And still Dublin finished with 12 points to spare at O'Moore Park.
That, in a nutshell, sums up the chasm in standards between Dublin football and the rest - not just at senior level but also here as they became the first county to win four consecutive Leinster U-21 titles.
Dessie Farrell has been manager for all four. Here, instead of being reliant on any individual masterclass, he had many players who delivered cameos of excellence.
These included Eoin Murchan in defence, midfield duo Andrew Foley and Brian Howard, man of the match Aaron Byrne, top-scorer Tom Fox with 1-2 from play, and O'Callaghan too - albeit more as selfless link-man than executioner-in-chief.
Offaly were brave to a fault and occasionally inspired in the first half but still trailed by 0-10 to 0-5 at the break, having played with the elements.
Then Mont Blanc became Everest when O'Callaghan tapped over his second free and followed up with a clever lay-off for Fox to clip home a goal.
Glen O'Reilly's 40-yard effort stretched the lead into double-digits before they entered a 16-minute scoring lull. Offaly landed three points in this period but needed so much more … then Dublin stirred themselves for one final flourish, O'Callaghan pointing off either foot before sub Stephen Smith added a late goal.
Offaly fans were the more vocal in a crowd of 2,095. Initially, at least, Shane Tierney gave them reason to cheer by arcing over three outrageously good points. Yet his efforts did little more than keep Offaly within vague touch.
Then Murchan wandered up from defence to score before O'Callaghan belatedly opened his account with a tap-over free in injury-time.
That left Dublin ahead by double-scores, their success based on the cohesion of their counter-attacks, the pressure being exerted on the opposing kickout - plus Offaly's wasteful eight wides with the wind.
In truth, a storming comeback never appeared remotely likely.
SCORERS - Dublin: T Fox 1-2, S Smith 1-0, A Byrne (1 '45'), C O'Callaghan (2f) 0-4 each, G O'Reilly 0-2, C Sallier, E Murchan 0-1 each. Offaly: S Tierney 0-4 (1f), J Hayes 0-3 (2f), R McEvoy 0-1.
DUBLIN - E Comerford; D Monaghan, S McMahon, D Byrne; E Murchan, C O'Shea, C Murphy; B Howard, A Foley; T Fox, D O'Brien, A Byrne; C Sallier, C O'Callaghan, G O'Reilly. Subs: S Smith for Sallier (41), S Bugler for O'Brien (41), D Gavin for Fox (48), A Elliot for O'Reilly (51), A McGowan for Monaghan (56).
OFFALY - B Rohan; C Horan, D Dempsey, C Doyle; A Mahon, PJ Daly, J Egan; J Lalor, J Hayes; C Farrell, R McEvoy, J Walsh; R McNamee, P Dunican, S Tierney. Subs: K Higgins for Daly (41), J Clancy for Dunican (49), C Stewart for Egan (62).
REF - D Hickey (Carlow).