Dublin 3-20 Meath 1-10
All-Ireland champions Dublin eased their way to their fourth Leinster title in a row as they brushed aside a disappointing Meath side in front of 62,660 at Croke Park.
The margin of victory could have been even greater as Dublin wasted several goal chances in a one-sided encounter. Meath never got going and in the end could do little to prevent Dublin from easing their way to their 53rd provincial success.
Meath were in trouble when they trailed by 1-12 to 0-6 at the interval after a powerful opening half from the champions.
The initial exchanges were tight asBernard Brogan and Shane O’Rourke traded points in the opening six minutes, but it was Dublin who pushed on.
Brogan pointed another free and they pulled further ahead when Diarmuid Connolly pointed and goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton landed a ’45.
Meath were struggling to contain Dublin’s strong running and Cian O’Sullivan pointed from the right wing for Dublin to lead by 0-5 to 0-1 after 16 minutes.
Meath did not help their cause with six first-half wides — Dublin had three — but they often shooting under pressure from a strong Dublin defence.
Stephen Bray pulled back a point for Meath and then after Kevin McManamon and Andrew Tormey exchanged points, the champions pulled away.
A shot from McManamon came back off the top of the upright and Bernard Brogan reacted quickest and while his initial effort was smothered, he finished the rebound to the net.
Mickey Newman responded with a point for Meath, but Dublin were moving fluently and Bernard Brogan added another point.
Stephen Bray found the net for Meath after 25 minutes, however referee Padraig Hughes called play back for a foul on Dalton McDonagh, with Newman converting that effort.
Alan Brogan and Damien Carroll exchanged points as the Meath defence was struggling to hold the Dublin attack and the lead was stretched when Brogan and McManamon found the target.
McManamon finished the half strongly and after rattling the crossbar with a cracking shot, he tacked on two points to leave Dublin in a commanding 1-12 to 0-6 interval lead.
The second-half remained one-way traffic especially when the superb McManamon blasted to the net.
Meath could only manage two points in the opening 27 minutes of the second-half with Eoghan O’Gara shooting Dublin’s third goal ten minutes from the end and by they could have had half a dozen as the Metah defence was shredded time and again.
Meath never gave up and Mickey Newman got a consolation goal with brothers Stephen and David Bray hitting points, but the day and the title belonged to a Dublin side who look unstoppable.
Dublin: S Cluxton (0-1, 45); P McMahon, R O’Carroll, M Fitzsimons; J McCarthy, M Devereux, J McCaffrey (0-1); MD Macauley, C O’Sullivan (0-1); P Flynn (0-1), A Brogan (0-1), D Connolly (0-1); K McManamon (1-5), P Mannion, B Brogan (1-6, 0-3f).
Subs: C Costello (0-1) for Mannion (35), D Rock (0-1) for Connolly (42), E O’Gara (1-1) for A Brogan (49), D Daly for Devereux (59), D Bastick for Macauley (59), T Brady for O’Sullivan (67).
Meath: P O’Rourke; E Harrington, K O’Reilly, B Menton; P Hernan, D Keogan, D Tobin; G Reilly, S O’Rourke (0-2f); D Carroll (0-1), B McMahon, A Tormey (0-2); D McDonagh, S Bray (0-2), M Newman (1-2, 0-1f).
Subs: J Wallace for Reilly (32), M Burke for Carroll (35), D Bray (0-1) for McDonagh (46mins), B Meade for S O’Rourke (46mins), J McEntee for McMahon (53), P Gilsenan for Tobin (68).
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).