HomeFootballBusiness as usual for Dublin as they inflict a 20-point destruction of...

Business as usual for Dublin as they inflict a 20-point destruction of Offaly without leaving second gear


Related stories


A 14th provincial crown in succession is now in sight for Dessie Farrell’s side, having booked a final date with Louth in a fortnight as their Leinster dominance shows no sign of slowing down.

To nobody’s surprise, the Dubs quickly got into their stride and fired over the first four points of the game.

Paul Mannion swung over two lovely scores off his trusted left peg while Con O’Callaghan and James McCarthy, making his first start of the year, also got their names on the score sheet.

It was the 16th minute before Offaly got on the mark, but it was worth the wait with Keith O’Neill rifling over a beauty from the outside of his right boot despite shooting from a narrow angle.

Cormac Costello replied at the other end before O’Neill surpassed his previous effort with an exquisite mark, again off the outside of his right, from 35 yards.

Dublin seemed to take an affront to that effort and they had the ball in the net at the other end from the resultant kick-out, with Mannion feeding O’Callaghan, who dispatched it low to beat Ian Duffy.

Colm Basquel quickly followed up with a point to put them 1-6 to 0-2 ahead, but Offaly could have had a goal of their own just minutes later.

Putting the ball past Stephen Cluxton is a rarity these days in the Leinster SFC, but it looked like John Furlong was going to do so in the 22nd minute before brilliant scramble defence from Mannion denied him.

It was all Dublin from there to the break as Small, Kilkenny, Cian Murphy and Costello (free) extended their lead, although O’Neill did fire over a lovely point off his left boot to close out the half, 1-10 to 0-4.

Dylan Hyland opened the new half with a neat score for Offaly, but again, Dublin slipped up a gear and quickly put 1-2 on the board within 90 seconds, as if they were almost toying with the Faithful.

O’Callaghan fed Niall Scully for a 37th-minute goal before Costello and John Small fired over points to put them 2-12 to 0-5 to the good, but credit to Offaly, they dug in and kept the All-Ireland champions honest.

O’Neill and Hyland really took the fight to the Dubs and kept the scoreboard ticking over, but Basquel’s 72nd-minute goal put a bad look on affairs for Declan Kelly’s side as Farrell’s Sky Blues prevailed by 20 points.

SCORERS – Dublin: C Basquel 1-3 (2f), C O’Callaghan 1-2, N Scully 1-1, C Costello 0-4 (2f), P Mannion 0-3, L O’Dell, J Small 0-2 each, C Murphy, J McCarthy, B Fenton, K McGinnis, S MacMahon 0-1 each. Offaly: D Hyland 0-5 (3f, 0-1 ’45), K O’Neill 0-3 (1 mark), L Pearson, J Hayes, C Flynn 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, S MacMahon, C Murphy; T Lahiff, J Small, E Murchan; B Fenton, J McCarthy; N Scully, C Costello, C Kilkenny; P Mannion, C O’Callaghan, C Basquel. Subs: L O’Dell for O’Callaghan and K McGinnis for Costello (both 53), R McGarry for Mannion and D Newcombe for Murchan (both 55), T Clancy for McCarthy (63).

OFFALY: I Duffy; L Pearson, D Hogan, D Dempsey; C Egan, P Cunningham, J Furlong; E Carroll, J McEvoy; K O’Neill, R McNamee, J Hayes; N Poland, J Bryant, D Hyland. Subs: C Flynn for McNamee and R Egan for Poland (both half-time), K McDermott for Bryant (54), C Donoghue for McEvoy (59), J O’Brien for O’Neill (66).

REFEREE: P Faloon (Down)

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories