Dublin deliver thrashing to 14-man Longford

By Paul Keane

Dublin 2-25, Longford 0-12

All-Ireland champions Dublin welcomed back a couple of key performers after lengthy lay-offs as they routed Longford to return to the Leinster football final.

Jack McCaffrey and Cian O'Sullivan both came on at Croke Park where the three-in-a-row All-Ireland winners cruised to a 19-point thrashing of 14-man Longford.

The underdogs trailed by four points with 18 minutes on the clock but quickly leaked 2-1 and also lost James McGivney to a red card shortly after to leave themselves with a mountain to climb.

Paul Mannion of Dublin shoots to score his side's second goal. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Paul Mannion and Dean Rock hit the net for Dublin in the 18th and 24th minutes while Givney was dismissed for a heavy challenge on Stephen Cluxton.

The Dublin goalkeeper had to be replaced by Evan Comerford who maintained their clean sheet until full-time.

It was Paddy Collum in the Longford goals that was the busier 'keeper and Dublin carved out at least four gilt edged chances in the second-half.

Paddy Andrews of Dublin in action against Patrick Fox of Longford. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

They led 2-13 to 0-7 at half-time and could have added further majors but for the interventions of Collum and the woodwork as Mannion, Rock, Michael Darragh Macauley and Colm Basquel were all left frustrated.

Basquel scored two points after coming on and there was a welcome return too for Paul Flynn too who also stepped up his recovery having previously appeared against Wicklow after missing the league.

Dublin closed out the scoring with the last nine points and finished with 11 different scorers as they secured a June 24 provincial final date with Laois, a repeat of the 2007 decider.

Scorers for Dublin: D Rock 1-6 (0-5f), P Mannion 1-2, B Fenton 0-4, C Kilkenny 0-4, C O'Callaghan 0-2, C Basquel 0-2, P McMahon 0-1, J McCarthy 0-1, B Howard 0-1, P Andrews 0-1, N Scully 0-1.

Scorers for Longford: R Smyth 0-5 (0-3f), P Collum 0-1 (0-1 45), D McElligott 0-1, M Quinn 0-1, D Reynolds 0-1, D McGivney 0-1 (0-1f), S McCormack 0-1, R Brady 0-1.

Dublin: S Cluxton; E Lowndes, P McMahon, M Fitzsimons; J McCarthy, J Cooper, B Howard; B Fenton, MD Macauley; N Scully, C O'Callaghan, P Mannion; D Rock, C Kilkenny, P Andrews.

Subs: E Comerford for Cluxton (23, blood), D Daly for Fitzsimons (h/t), J McCaffrey for Cooper (h/t), C Basquel for Mannion (49), K McManamon for Andrews (49), C O'Sullivan for McCarthy (55), P Flynn for Macauley (58).

Longford: P Collum; P Fox, P McCormack, D Masterson; D McElligott, D Mimnagh, M Quinn; D Gallagher, C Berry; L Connerton, D McGivney, D Reynolds; R Smyth, J McGivney, R Brady.

Subs: S McCormack for Connerton (28), B Gilleran for Quinn (56, BC), M Nally for D McGivney (64), P Foy for Reynolds (65), D Quinn for Masterson (66), S Donohoe for Mimnagh (71).

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).

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