LEINSTER SFC FINAL
DUBLIN 1-17 MEATH 0-4
Dublin footballers made history when becoming the first county to win nine provincial senior championship titles in-a-row when defeating Meath in Sunday's Leinster SFC final at Croke Park in front of an attendance of 47,027.
The Dubs were by far the slicker and more clinical side as they turned possession into scores, however, the first half injury sustained by James McCarthy cast a shadow over Dublin's victory.
In a peculiar opening half both sides took time to settle before Ciaran Kilkenny opened the scoring in the 12th minute.
Flying wing-back Jack McCarthy torched his way through the Meath defence to fire over as Dublin began to move into gear.
Cormac Costello converted a '45' before points from Paul Mannion and Brian Howard made it 0-5 to 0-0 after 24 minutes.
Mannion's score underlined Dublin's threat when going direct as Stephen Cluxton found Philly McMahon at midfield on the Cusack Stand side with a superb clearance, he in turn found Mannion one-on-one in the right corner and the Kilmacud Crokes man did the rest in trademark fashion.
Dublin missed a penalty in the 26th minute when Mannion hit the butt of the post at the Hill 16 end after Con O'Callaghan had been fouled.
In the 33rd minute Bryan Menton eventually got the Royals off the mark with a point after they had squandered several frees and opportunities from open play earlier in the half.
After leading 0-5 to 0-1 at the break Jack McCaffrey was not long in the second half showing his pace again, this time fisted over after angling through on goal.
Cormac Costello converted frees either side of a Mickey Newman free for Meatth.
Dublin then began to put they outcome out of sight with points from Philly McMahon, an excellent Mannion strike with Brian Fenton, Mannion again, Dean Rock and Paddy Andrews all on target.
Rock tallied 0-4 (0-1f) after being introduced in the 51st minute for Brian Howard.
With two minutes of normal time to play slick interplay between Kevin McManamon and Dean Rock released Con O'Callaghan who drilled a show low to the corner of Andrew Colgan's net for the only goal of the game.
Speaking after the game Dublin manager Jim Gavin said: "Overall we're happy with it. We turned over quite a lot of ball, but at least the guys were going at the game.
"In the second-half, we kept doing what we set out to do. We created a number of chances, and had a high return on the scoreboard. Over ten scores, which is pleasing to see.
"We're delighted to get the performance, and to get our hands back on the Delaney Cup.
"Meath missed quite a number of scores, and to be honest the overall scoreline probably doesn't reflect their part in the game," added Jim.
"They hit the post a number of times, and had a lot of wides that they probably wouldn't normally get.
"Meath were here a few weeks ago playing Donegal in the league final and were very impressive. What is a surprise to us is probably the gap in the end.
Jim dispelled talk that Leinster titles do not mean as much to his players as one they did.
"They mean a lot to the players. It is our province, we are Leinster men. It's good to have another Leinster team back in Division One."
SCORERS - Dublin: D Rock 0-4 (0-1f), C O'Callaghan 1-0, C Costello (0-2f, 0-1 '45'), P Mannion 0-3 each, J McCaffrey 0-2, C Kilkenny, B Howard, P McMahon, B Fenton, P Andrews 0-1 each. Meath: M Newman 0-3 (0-1f), B Menton 0-1.
DUBLIN: S Cluxton; P McMahon, M Fitzsimons, J McCaffrey; D Byrne, C O'Sullivan, J Small; B Fenton, J McCarthy; N Scully, C Kilkenny, B Howard; C Costello, P Mannion, C O'Callaghan. Subs: MD Macauley for McCarthy (32), D Rock for Howard (51), K McManamon for Costello (58), P Small for Kilkenny (61), P Andrews for P Small (64), R O'Carroll for McCaffrey (67).
MEATH: A Colgan; S Lavin, C McGill, S Gallagher; J McEntee, D Keogan, R Ryan; B Menton, S McEntee; C O'Sullivan, B McMahon, G Reilly; B Brennan, J Conlon, M Newman. Subs: S Tobin for Brennan (38), E Devine for Reilly (40), T O'Reilly for Conlon (53), B Dardis S McEntee (58), S Curran for Gallagher (65), T McGovern for McMahon (65).
REF: S Hurson (Tyrone).