Dublin the All-Ireland U21 football champions

Dublin the All-Ireland U21 football champions

Dublin 2-12 Roscommon 0-11

The Dubs are All-Ireland U21 football champions for the second time in three years, thanks to their late comeback win over Roscommon at Tullamore.

It was only the third time that Dublin have won the title, and they had to work hard to deny a brave Rossies side also looking for a third success.

The Connacht chamopions led by two points going into the final 10 minutes, but Jim Gavin’s side came good, hitting gold in the closing stages with a 1-5 blitz.

Roscommon took an early lead with frees from Donie Smith and Colin Compton, and with Niall Daly and Cathal Shine the midfield contest in the early stages, they made life difficult for a Dublin side that struggled to get to the pace

The Dubs finally got their first score on 12 minuets when the exciting Paul Hudson escaped his marker to float over a neat point.

Compton was causing serious problems in those opening minutes, but once Dublin full back Kevin O’Brien to grips with the Rossies’ target man, the Metropolitans started to look more secure.

Roscommon opened up a three points lead through Smith score, but Dublin stepped up the tempo, hitting three quickfire points, with Ciaran Kilkenny finding the target and Hudson adding two more to his tally.

Philip Ryan gave the Dubs the lead for the first time in the 26th minute, and in stoppage time, Hudson pounced when the Roscommon defence failed to clear, blasting the ball to the net from close range.

Keane and Compton steered over superb points at the other end, but they trailed by 1-

5 to 0-6 at the interval.

However, the Rossies were back in front within six minutes of the restart. With Brogan a towering figure at the heart of their defence, they repelled a couple of Dublin raids, before Smith fired over two points.

Cian Connolly squeezed over the lead score from a tight angle, and a superb Compton effort made it 0-10 to 1-5.

Shine lifted his game to new heights at midfield, where Dublin suffered a blow with the loss of Ciaran Reddin through injury.

But Jim Gavin’s men dug deep, and points from Kilkenny and centre back John Kelly levelled the game at 1-8 to 0-11 with 10 minutes to play.

Roscommon goalkeeper Tadhg Lowe saved superbly from substitute Harry Dawson as the Dublin challenge mounted in the closing stages.

The bench proved crucial, with Dawson and another sub, Gerry Seaver, floating over points, before Paul Mannion came off the bench to fire in a second and clinching goal in stoppage time.

Dublin scorers: P Hudson 1-4, C Kilkenny 0-4 (1f), H Dawson, G Seaver, J Kelly, P Ryan 0-1 each

Roscommon scorers: D Smith 0-4 (2f), C Compton 0-3 (1f), D Keane, C Connolly 0-2 each.

Dublin: J Carthy, M Concarr, K O’Brien, S George, L Fletcher, J Kelly, J McCaffrey, E O Conghaile, C Reddin, D Byrne, G Sweeney, M Schutte, C Kilkenny, P Ryan, P Hudson.

Subs: P Maguire for Schutte, G Seaver for Byrne, H Dawson for Ryan, P O’Higgins for Reddin, P Mannion for Hudson.

Roscommon: T Lowe, C Cafferkey, C Duignan, D Murray, C Daly, P Brogan, R Stack, C Shine, N Daly, S Oates, N Kilroy, D Keane, C Connolly, C Compton, D Smith.

Subs: J McManus for Keane, F Cregg for Stack, C Murtagh for Connolly, F Kelly for Kilroy

Referee: P O’Sullivan (Kerry).

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