Dublin eye fourth successive Division 1 title after defeat of Donegal

Dublin eye  fourth successive Division 1 title after defeat of Donegal

Dublin 1-20 Donegal 0-13

Dublin stand just 70 minutes away from claiming a fourth successive Allianz Football League Division 1 title after a comfortable defeat of Donegal at a sometimes sunny but mostly frigid HQ on Sunday afternoon, writes Brendan O’Brien.

Jim Gavin’s All-Ireland champions will meet Kerry – the last county to claim that particular quartet of trophies back in 1974 – in the decider after the Munster men accounted for a disappointing Roscommon side in the first of the day’s semi-finals.

It will be the pair’s first meeting in a league decider since 1987.

Dublin and Donegal had met at this same venue just weeks earlier, for what had been a turgid, low-scoring affair, but space wasn’t at such a premium this time and the result was a more aesthetically pleasing game even if it was one that wanted for intensity.

Or suspense.

A grand total of eighteen scores had been posted in that first meeting of the season last month: a quota that was bettered with half-an-hour still to go here.

Not that it mattered. By then, Dublin were seven points to the good and in total control.

It was the usual all-court game from the Dubs who posted eleven players on the scoresheet, five of them defenders. Donegal, by contrast, had just three men troubling the umpires and only four of their points were scored from play.

Paddy McBrearty was their best on the day, the Kilcar forward claiming eight points.

Three of them came from play, but Donegal all too often found themselves approaching the Dublin rearguard at a snail’s pace and they lacked the nous to break that down.

Dublin were more multi-faceted. Only four of their scores came from dead balls.

Ciaran Kilkenny earned the ‘Best of…’ award at the end, but any number of players put their hand up yet again. Gavin’s is an embarrassment of riches.

The goal came shortly after half-time, Bernard Brogan latching on to a long ball from the superb Philly McMahon before slipping the ball under the Donegal goalkeeper.

Even then, at such an early stage, it looked unlikely that the game would end as a cliffhanger.

Just another day for this incredible Dublin side.

Scorers for Dublin: D Rock (0-5, 3 frees); B Brogan (1-2); C Kilkenny (0-3); P Andrews and P Mannion (both 0-2); P McMahon, J Cooper, J McCarthy, J Small, C Costello and E Lowndes (all 0-1).

Scorers for Donegal: P McBrearty (0-8, 5 frees); M Murphy (0-4 frees); M McElhinney (0-1).

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon, J McCarthy, J Cooper; J Small, C O’Sullivan, D Small; B Fenton, D Bastick; P Flynn, D Rock, C Kilkenny; P Mannion, P Andrews, B Brogan. Subs: C Costello for Andrews (45); E Lowndes for Bastick (49); M Fitzsimons for McMahon (53); SB Carthy for Flynn (61); K O’Brien for Cooper (63); S Carthy for O’Sullivan (67).

Donegal: MA McGinley; P McGrath, N McGee, E McGee; C Gillespie, R McHugh, K Lacey; R Kavanagh, O Mac Niallais; F McGlynn, M McElhinney, M O’Reilly; L McLoone, M Murphy, P McBrearty. Subs: S McBrearty for O’Reilly (15); C McGonagle for Mac Niallais (50); C McFadden for McElhinney (53); C Toye for Kavanagh (67); EB Gallagher for McLoone (67; J O’Brien for Gillespie (71).

Referee: M Deegan (Laois).

More in this Section

Profit-sharing deal could transform Pacific Islands rugby, says Dan LeoProfit-sharing deal could transform Pacific Islands rugby, says Dan Leo

Cricket Ireland announce three-match series against England in 2020Cricket Ireland announce three-match series against England in 2020

Ex-players Stephen Frampton and Tom Feeney to help find next Déise bossEx-players Stephen Frampton and Tom Feeney to help find next Déise boss

Aaron Gillane out of Limerick SHC due to broken jawAaron Gillane out of Limerick SHC due to broken jaw


Lifestyle

A sommelier shares her top tips.The dos and don’ts of serving wine – you just might have been doing it all wrong

We know New York real estate is expensive, but this is getting out of hand…You can now stay in an enormous sandcastle on a New York beach

JB Dubois is Head Chef at GIY’s GROW HQ in Waterford City and his wife, Shona Dubois, is the Head of Operations with the organisation.‘We’re showing them how to do their best for the world’

Often I have been out with friends and their kids and they joke that Joan is going to be a politician. I’ve always been impressed by Joan’s ability to pick up pals wherever she goes. She started this when she was very young, and every time we went to a park or a playground she would make a new BFF.Mum's the Word: 'I love how my child can make new friends in a matter of minutes'

More From The Irish Examiner