Red-hot favourites Dublin claim another Leinster U-21 title
Dublin 0-15 Meath 0-10
Dublin eventually emerged victorious in O’Moore Park tonight to claim a fourth Cadbury Leinster GAA U21FC title in six seasons.
Odds on to land the provincial title, the Dubs held a comfortable lead for much of proceedings, though Meath enjoyed the a lion’s share of possession but were unable to make it pay.
The Royals were guilty of some horribly prodigal shooting, particularly in the first half when they shot eight wides and had a penalty brilliantly saved by Dublin goalkeeper, Lorcan Molloy.
While not as wasteful after the resumption, Meath’s pacey but light attack just wasn’t able to carve out the goal chance needed to reel the Sky Blues in.
Bobby O’Brien, who finished with four points from play, got Meath off the mark in the second minute, having already wasted a glorious opportunity but Dublin responded with points from Conor McHugh, Cormac Costello (free) and Eric Lowndes.
Meath restored the margin to one but were punished for failing to press home their dominance as Man of the Match, Shane Carthy landed two points and Costello his third of the half to leave it 0-7 to 0-3 at half time.
Shane McEntee had an early point for Meath after the resumption but Dublin scored the next four, with Costello bringing his tally to five, popping over his final score after Andy Colgan had saved from McHugh.
Seán Barry’s young charges continued to pour forward and Molloy made another full-length stop, this time from Conor Sheridan.
Every time they made some headway though, Dublin found an answer, and while Seamus Mattimoe and the electric Joey Wallace found the target for the Royals, substitute Gavin Burke weighed in with two important scores in reply and Carthy provided another cultured finish.
The closest Meath got was four points, after O’Brien landed his fourth point from play and Bryan McMahon slotted a 56th minute free but it was McHugh that had the final say.
Scorers for Dublin: C Costello 0-5 (3fs); S Carthy, C McHugh 0-3 (1f) each; G Burke 0-2; E Lowndes, N Scully 0-1 each
Scorers for Meath: B O’Brien 0-4; S Mattimoe 0-3 (2fs); S McEntee, J Wallace, B McMahon (f) 0-1 each
Dublin: L Molloy, R McDaid, D Byrne, R McGowan, J Small, P O’Higgins, J McCaffrey, S Carthy, S Cunningham, N Scully, E Lowndes, C Costello, P Mannion, M Deegan, C McHugh. Subs: S Boland for Deegan (24), G Burke for Cunningham (ht), E Ó Conghaile for Costello (47), S Cunningham for Higgins (54).
Meath: A Colgan, D McQuillan, C McGill, S Carty, B Power, S Melia, S McEntee, C Sheridan, A Flanagan, N Shortall, B O’Brien, P Harnan, J Wallace, B McMahon, S Mattimoe. Subs: C Finn for McQuillan (40), A Burke for Carty (46), O Fitzpatrick for Power (52), B Dardis for McEntee (55)
REFEREE: F Barry (Kildare)