Costello punishes Antrim indiscipline
Dublin recovered from a poor start to progress to the last four with eight points to spare over a gallant Antrim side at Oliver Plunkett Park in Crossmaglen on Saturday.
The Ulster champions raced into a five-point lead early on, but they were then dealt a blow in the second quarter when they had full-back Matthew Donnelly sent off and Dublin took full advantage.
After leading by three at the interval, the Metropolitans wasted no time in building up a match-winning cushion on the restart and their victory would have been more emphatic, but for the fact that they hit a dozen wides over the course of the 60-odd minutes.
To have any chance of creating an upset, Antrim required a good start and they certainly got it as a second-minute goal from Daniel McCloskey was followed by three points and they led 1-3 to 0-1 after 11 minutes. Cillian Moffat was on target for Dublin from a long-range free.
A long clearance from full-back Emmett McKenna saw Cormac Costello get in behind the Antrim defence and he made no mistake with his finish to the net to bring Dublin into the game.
McCloskey and Dean Flood exchanged points, before Donnelly received a straight red card for a foul on Flood, a decision that looked harsh and one that had a major bearing on the game. Dublin wasted no time in taking advantage with another Costello goal giving them the lead at half-time.
In the first attack of the second half, Fergal Heavey scored Dublin's third goal to give them a 3-6 to 1-6 lead and Antrim then had it all to do. Ciaran Kilkenny had a penalty saved by Antrim 'keeper James O'Mullan, but it was only academic.
Moffat, Ben Quinn, Niall Ryan and John Hetherton all tagged on points for the winners and, despite efforts from Conor McCann and Clarke in response, it was Dublin's day.
Scorers -- Dublin: C Costello 2-1, F Heavey 1-1, D Flood 0-3f, C Moffat 0-3f, B Quinn, E O Conghaile, J Hetherton, N Maguire, N Ryan 0-1 each. Antrim: C Clarke 0-6 (0-6f), D McCloskey 1-1, C McCann 0-2, J Black, C McGuinness 0-1 each.
Dublin -- E Dillon; C Murphy, E McKenna, S McClelland; C Moffat, D Sutcliffe, B Quinn; B McCarthy, D Kelly; E O Conghaile, G Whelan, F Heavey; C Costello, C Kilkenny, D Flood. Subs: M McCaffrey for Moffat, J Hetherton for Kelly, N Maguire for Heavey, N Ryan for Costello.
Antrim -- J O'Mullan; C Orchin, M Donnelly, O Quinn; C Morgan, D McPeake, A McGowan; J Black, P McNaughton; C McCann, C McGuinness, R O'Neill; D McCloskey, S Jennings, C Clarke. Subs: F Donnelly for O'Neill, J McLister for McCloskey, E McAlonan for Jennings.
Ref -- A Kelly (Galway).