Monday 11 December 2017

Classy Dublin overwhelm Westmeath at Croker

Man of the match Paul Flynn in action against Kevin Maguire
Man of the match Paul Flynn in action against Kevin Maguire

Dublin set up a Leinster Championship semi-final clash with Kildare on June 30 by completely outclassing Westmeath at GAA Headquarters.

The reigning Leinster champions were dominant in all facets of the game and rarely had to come out of their comfort zone in a 1-22 to 0-9 victory.

Westmeath got a taste of what Division One football will be like next season while the depth of Dublin's playing pool was their for all to see.

Westmeath were dealt a blow before a ball had been kicked in anger as Dessie Dolan couldn't start with his position taken by Ciaran Curley.

Bernard Brogan scored a free on five minutes as both sides notched up plenty of errors.

Paul Mannion forced a fabulous save from Ger Connaughton soon afterwards before Brogan pointed his first from play.

Jim Gavin's men punished two missed frees from John Heslin when Paddy Andrews lofted over a beauty from the right.

Paul Flynn and Cian O'Sullivan got in on the act and by the 15th minute Dublin had scored five unanswered points.

Paul Mannion's point, Andrews fisted effort and a point on his left from Diarmuid Connolly made it eight unanswered for the Dubs.

Denis Glennon registered their first point in the 24th minute through Denis Glennon.

John Heslin finally found his range after Glennon was fouled and added the next two scores from frees as well as Dublin led by 0-8 to 0-4 after 28 minutes.

Bernard Brogan and Paddy Andrews, set up by the lightning pace of Jack McCaffrey, helped the Dubs respond well.

Brogan and Paul Flynn helped Dublin finish the first half with a flourish and they led by 0-12 to 0-4 at the break.

John Heslin opened the scoring in the second half but the impressive Jack McCaffrey cancelled it out.

Another Heslin free and a deserved point for the industrious Ciaran Martin showed what Westmeath are capable of before Bernard Brogan's fifth point of the day and Paul Flynn's point showed Dublin can do likewise.

Diarmuid Connolly's attempted dropkick goal ended rather embarrassingly as he dragged his effort wide.

The game became very dead afterwards with very little intensity as Denis Glennon and Diarmuid Connolly traded scores.

Ciaran Kilkenny was next on the scoresheet meaning all the Dublin's starting forwards had scored.

Two Bernard Brogan frees made it 0-19 to 0-9 with 10 minutes remaining before being replaced by Cormac Costello.

Costello's first involvement was setting up Diarmuid Connolly for another goal chance but he pushed it wide.

League final hero Dean Rock added a free before he set up Paddy Andrews to crash the ball into the top corner.

Rock and Connolly put the icing on the cake in injury time as Dublin registered a 16-point win.

Scorers for Dublin: B Brogan 0-7 (5f), P Andrews 1-3, P Flynn 0-3, D Connolly 0-3, D Rock 0-2 (1f), C O'Sullivan 0-1, P Mannion 0-1, J McCaffrey 0-1, C Kilkenny 0-1.

Scorers for Westmeath: J Heslin 0-5 (5f), D Glennon 0-2, K Martin 0-1, D Corroon 0-1.

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Darren Daly, Rory O'Carroll, Jonny Cooper; James McCarthy, Ger Brennan, Jack McCaffrey; Michael Dara Macauley, Cian O'Sullivan; Paul Flynn, Ciaran Kilkenny, Diarmuid Connolly; Paul Mannion, Paddy Andrews, Bernard Brogan.

Subs: Kevin O'Brien for Daly (44), Nicky Devereux for McCarthy (49), Dean Rock for Mannion (54), Denis Bastic for Macauley (55), Cormac Costello for Brogan (61).

Westmeath: Gary Connaughton; Mark McCallon, Kieran Gavin, Kevin Maguire; Doron Harte, Paul Sharry, John Gaffey; David Duffy, John Heslin; Kieran Martin, Callum McCormack, James Dolan; Ger Egan, Denis Glennon, Ciarán Curley.

Subs: Denis Corroon for Curley (48), Darragh Daly for Duffy (48), Damien Dolan for Harte (48), Paul Bannon for Egan (61), Aaron Purcell for McCallon (65).

Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Laois)

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