Dublin 4-25 Longford 0-10
Brendan O’Brien, Croke Park
Dublin saw off Longford off with embarrassing ease in their Leinster football quarter-final clash at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.
Jim Gavin’s men were expected to account for the midland county, recently promoted from Division Four of the league, with little difficulty but this was domination to an extent which even Dublin have rarely known in over a decade of total control within their province.
The favourites were 1-4 to no score to the good inside five minutes, Diarmuid Connolly bagging the goal, with Paul Flynn, Dean Rock and Bernard Brogan helping themselves to the other three-pointers against a Longford side painfully out of its depth.
The score at the interval was 2-14 to 0-8, numbers more usually seen at the end of 70 minutes than 35 and by the end all bar three points of the winners’ tally had been accumulated in open play – proof aplenty of how they did what they wanted, when they wanted and how they wanted.
Gavin will have learned little or nothing from this exercise though replacement full-back David Byrne had some difficult moments on Brian Kavanagh early on. As for how John Small will fare at centre-back further on this summer? Who knows?
The Dubs did at least see the return of Alan Brogan to the playing field for the first time this season while Gavin got to empty his bench long before the finish. All in all, however, this was as depressing a day at HQ as there has been in some time.
Leinster is a province locked in crisis outside the Pale and neither Laois nor Kildare, who meet in the last eight next weekend, will be expected to divert Dublin from the current path which should deliver them a tenth provincial senior title in eleven years.
Scorers for Dublin: B Brogan (1-6); D Rock (1-6, 0-2 frees and 0-2 ‘45’); P Flynn (1-3); C Kilkenny (0-3); D Connolly (1-0); K McManamon (0-2); B Fenton, P McMahon, T Brady, P Andrews and E Lowndes (all 0-1).
Scorers for Longford: B Kavanagh (0-5, 4 frees); R Connor (0-3); L Connerton (0-1); P Collum (0-1 ‘45’).
Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon, D Byrne, J Cooper; D Daly, J Small, J McCaffrey; D Bastick, B Fenton; P Flynn, C Kilkenny, D Connolly; D Rock, K McManamon, B Brogan. Subs: M Fitzsimons for McMahon and T Brady for Connolly (both half-time); MD Macauley for Bastick (46); P Andrews for Flynn (52); E Lowndes for Cooper (56); A Brogan for B Brogan (61);
Longford: P Collum; D Brady, C Farrell, B Gilleran; D Masterson, B O’Farrell, CP Smyth; M Quinn, K Diffley; P Foy, R McNerney, R McEntire; B McKeown, B Kavanagh, R Connor. Subs: L Connerton for McKeon (17); A Rowan for Smyth (49); P Gill for Connor (52); F Battrim for Masterson (57); E Williams for McNerney (70).
Referee: C Lane (Cork)