Dublin U21s storm to second All-Ireland title in three years

Dublin won a second All-Ireland U21 Football Championship title in three years with a devastating attacking performance at O’Connor Park in Tullamore.

Dublin U21s storm to second All-Ireland title in three years

Dublin 1-21 Roscommon 3-6

Dublin won a second All-Ireland U21 Football Championship title in three years with a devastating attacking performance at O’Connor Park in Tullamore.

Their defence creaked at times, but Dessie Farrell’s boys had the firepower to shoot down the Rossies in emphatic style.

Despite conceding three second half goals, they coasted home with nine points to spare, Conor McHugh delivering a man of the match display with a 1-6 tally, all from play.

Dublin led by 18 points at one stage, and while they allowed their lead to be whittled away, they had done enough in the first half to secure the title in a repeat of the 2012 decider.

Brian Fenton and Paddy O’Higgins quickly built a solid platform at midfield, from which the Dubs raided menacingly at every opportunity.

And with Jack McCaffrey always a threat along the left flank, they stretched the Rossies defence to the limit.

Soon, the scores were racking up, with Mannion and Costello hitting the target early on.

By the ninth minute, the Metropolitans led by 0-6 to 0-1, Conor McHugh making a big impact with three classy points from play.

Ultan Harney had scored what was to be Roscommon’s only first half point, but they were given a route back, into the game in the 13th minute when Donie Smith won a penalty which led to the culprit, David Byrne, being shown a black card.

Smith too the kick to his left, but Lorcan Molloy dived low to his right to brilliantly deny the corner forward.

Normal service was duly resumed, with Niall Scully, Costello and McHugh all adding to the Dublin tally, and but for some excellent defending from Sean Mullooly, the damage could have been worse.]

The Dubs led by 0-14 to 0-1 at the break, and opened out the lead to a gaping 18 points after McHugh finished to the net following a piece of Costello magic.

But Roscommon suddenly sparked into life, and stunned the Dubs with three goals in the spoace of four minutes.

First Diarmuid Murtagh finished off an incisive move by palming to the net, and ‘keeper Molloy had no chance with a Ciaran Kilcline bullet which flew into his net.

And in the 41st minute, Murtagh fisted home a third after corner back David Murray had pushed forward into attack.

Suddenly that 18 points deficit had been trimmed back to nine, but the Rossies still had a massive task on their hands.

Dublin regrouped and steadied the ship to steer for home, and got back on the offensive with Eric Lowndes and skipper McCaffrey pressing from deep.

Despite the loss of Costello through injury, they pegged back point through McCaffrey and Mannion to keep themselves comfortably in front.

Roscommon did pull back late points through Enda Smith and Murtagh, but there was to be no denying a classy Dublin side.

Dublin: L Molloy, R McGowan, D Byrne, R McDaid, E Lowndes, J Small, J McCaffrey (0-1), P O'Higgins, B Fenton, N Scully (0-1), S Boland, C Mullally, P Mannion (0-8, 5f, 1 ’45), C Costello (0-4, 2f), C McHugh (1-6).

Subs: E O Conghaile for Byrne (BC), G Hanningan for Boland, G Ivory for O’Higgins, S Cunningham (0-1) for Costello

Roscommon: C Lavin, D Murray, S Mullooly, C Kenny, R Daly, J McManus, C Daly, U Harney (0-2), T Corcoran, C Kilcline (1-0), M Healy, E Smith (0-1), D Murtagh (2-3, 0-2f), M Nally, D Smith.

Subs: M Gunning for Nally, T Featherston for Kenny, N McInerney for C Daly, A Gleeson for Gunning, S Flynn for R Daly, S Killoran for Healy

Referee: B Cassidy (Derry).

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