Costello injury only sour note as Dublin cruise
Dublin 3-7 Longford 0-6
Senior star Paul Mannion scored 2-1 in the first half, while Cormac Costello was also prominent in attack as Dublin eased past Longford to book their place in the final.
While Jim Gavin will have been happy with Mannion's contribution, he will be checking on the fitness of Costello after the Whitehall Colmcille man was carried off, having appeared to fall awkwardly on his ankle when missing a late goal opportunity.
It was symptomatic of Dublin's performance, though, as while they had 10 points to spare at the end, they were quite erratic in front of the posts, even allowing for the difficulties caused by a strong wind.
They had a number of chances to add to their three goals, but it was Mannion's two strikes in the space of two minutes inside the opening quarter that established the advantage the Dubs never ceded.
Mannion found the net with left-footed strikes in the 10th and 12th minutes, profiting from good work by Conor McHugh on both occasions.
Those contributions helped Dessie Farrell's men into an early eight-point lead before Patrick Kiernan opened the scoring for Longford, who were managed by Farrell's former Dublin colleague, Jack Sheedy.
Robbie Smyth landed two frees as Longford gained a greater foothold in proceedings and a brilliant point by captain Barry McKeon just before the interval left it 2-4 to 0-4.
Substitute Emmet Ó Conghaile finally removed any doubt about the verdict with a goal five minutes from time.
SCORERS – Dublin: P Mannion 2-1, C Costello 0-4 (1f), E Ó Conghaile 1-0, E Lowndes, C McHugh 0-1 each. Longford: R Smyth 0-4fs, P Kiernan, B McKeon 0-1 each.
DUBLIN – L Molloy; R McGowan, D Byrne, R McDaid; J Small, Stephen Cunningham, J McCaffrey; S Carthy, P O'Higgins; N Scully, E Lowndes, C Costello; C McHugh, M Deegan, P Mannion. Subs: S Cunningham for Deegan (34), E Ó Conghaile for Small (47), N Walsh for McHugh (59), G Ivory for Costello inj (60)
LONGFORD – G Higgins; C Farrelly, A Farrell, B O'Farrell; C Shields, S McLoughlin, S Clarke; B McKeon, J McGivney; A Dalton, R Smyth, L Connerton; E Noonan, P Kiernan, Rory Connor. Subs: M Gorman for Clarke (18), D Mimnagh for Noonan (44), R McNerne for McLoughlin (47)
REF – N Ward (Westmeath)