Dublin's under-20 footballers face Kildare in the inaugural EirGrid Leinster U20FC final this Friday night in O'Connor Park, Tullamore (7.30).
Both counties have impressed en route to the provincial decider.
Dublin finished top of Group 1 following wins over Longford (2-21 to 0-11), Westmeath (2-16 to 1-13) and Wexford (1-15 to 0-11) before defeating Meath last weekend in Navan in their semi-final, 4-16 to 2-10.
Kildare finished second, behind Meath, in Group 2. They defeated Laois (1-17 to 4-6), lost to Meath (2-11 to 1-13), beat Wicklow (3-17 to 0-4) before overcoming Carlow (4-19 to 0-8) in their quarter-final and then last weekend they outclassed Offaly (3-14 to 2-5) in their semi-final.
Here we look back at Dublin's journey to Friday night's Leinster decider.
DUBLIN 4-16 MEATH 2-10
An impressive Dublin showing in this provincial semi-final in Páirc Tailteann, Navan saw them overcome their hosts by 12 points in a fast-paced encounter.
The Dubs made the dream start when James Madden's searing pace cut through the Meath defence and he off-loaded to James Doran to fire to the net inside the opening minute.
Doran and Ross McGarry added points to see the Dubs 1-2 to 0-0 clear inside seven minutes.
Tom Keane enjoyed a terrific first half and he tallied five points, three from play as Dublin continued to hold the upperhand.
However, towards the close of the half Meath began to battle back and David O'Hanlon, who impressed from kickouts and general play, denied Darragh Campion from close range.
In first-half added time Meath were awarded a penalty for what ref Brendan Cawley adjudged to be a foot block and Frank O'Reilly closed the gap to 1-8 to 1-5 at half-time.
The Dubs had dominated most of the half and had looked dangerous in attack while at the back the defence was limited Meath's attack yet now only led by three points having played with the wind advantage.
Straight from the throw-in again Dublin struck for goal. Team captain Seán Bugler, who operated at midfield alongside Donal Ryan, ran at the Meath defence before passing to Madden who flicked the ball onto James Doran who rifled emphatically to the net.
Dublin extended their lead further with well-worked points from McGarry and Cormac Howley and by the time Keane tagged on two more scores, to bring his personal tally to 0-7 (0-2f), Dublin were 2-12 to 1-6 clear in the 38th minute.
Meath had reduced that deficit by two points before they had a goal disallowed for a 'square ball' and Dublin took full advantage of that good fortune to add their third goal in the 20th minute.
Again inventive interplay by the Dublin forwards in the 50th minute created the opportunity with Dan O'Brien's overhead palmed effort hitting the crossbar but the goal-poaching skills of McGarry were very evident as he collected the rebound and angled his shot to the net among several converging defenders to make it 3-12 to 1-8.
Sub Karl Lynch-Bissett got in on the goal-scoring act in the 52nd minute with a clinical finish to the net.
Two minutes from the end of normal time Jordan Morris scored a spectacular goal for the home side when he unleashed a thunderbolt from outside the 20-metere line that gave keeper O'Hanlon no chance.
Dublin tidied the game up well with late points from the influential Bugler and a McGarry free to book their berth in the provincial decider.
SCORERS - Dublin: J Doran 2-1, T Keane 0-7 (0-2f), Ross McGarry 1-4 (0-1f), K Lynch-Bissett 1-0, S Bugler 0-2, D O’Brien, C Howley 0-1 each. Meath: J Morris 1-4 (0-3f), F O’Reilly 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), A Kealy, E Devine, J Conlon, S Walsh 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: D O’Hanlon; N Nolan, N Doran, C Smith; K Kennedy, N Matthews, E O’Dea; D Ryan, S Bugler; J Madden, J Doran, C Howley; D O'Brien, T Keane, R McGarry. Subs: S King for Kennedy (21, bc), G McNamara for Nolan (44), K Lynch-Bissett for Howley (48), J Holland for J Doran (52), C Hynes for Ryan (57), E Fitzpatrick for Keane (57).
MEATH: A Beakey; R Clarke, C Harnan, K Slavin; E Smyth, E O'Kelly Lynch, J Cassidy; E Devine, A Murphy; S Reilly, D Campion, J Scully; F O’Reilly, J Conlon, J Morris. Subs: S Walsh for Reilly (ht), S Ryan for Cassidy (38), A Kealy for F O’Reilly (54), S McDonnell for Devine (57), B McGowan for Slavin (57), B O’Reilly for Smyth (60).
REF: B Cawley (Kildare).
GROUP1 – GAME 3
DUBLIN 1-15 WEXFORD 0-11
Dublin's under-20 footballers came from in arrears at half-time to run out seven-point victors in this Group 1 game of their Leinster U20FC round-robin section at Innovate Wexford Park.
The Dubs trailed 0-8 to 0-5 at half-time after playing into the wind but set about their task immediately on the restart to top their group following their three wins over Longford, Westmeath and now Wexford and book their berth in the semi-finals.
Within six minutes of the second half Dublin were on level terms courtesy of points from Seán Bugler, Seán Farrelly and James Doran.
A minute later they edged in front for the first time since the seventh minute of the first-half when Cormac Howley split the posts following good work from the influential Doran.
Wexford keeper, Ivan Meegan, brought the Slaneysiders level with a pointed free before Dublin were awarded a penalty that O'Brien pointed to make it 0-10 to 0-9 in Dublin's favour with 19 minutes remaining.
The crucial scored arrived in the 46th minute when Doran created the opening for Ross McGarry to palm into the Wexford net, Dublin up 1-10 to 0-10.
The point scoring of sub Tom Keane played a big role from there to the finish with the Nh Olaf man on target on four occasions with Doran adding the final point of the afternoon.
In the opening half Richie Waters opened the scoring for Wexford with a third minute point before Dan O'Brien and Cormac Howley scores had Dublin briefly in front.
Points from Richie Waters, Kyle Firman and Seán Nolan propelled the hosts into a 0-4 to 0-2 after 11 minutes before McGarry cut the deficit.
But the Slaneysiders got the next three points with Cathal Devereux (two) and a massive 55-metre free from keeper Meegan put their side 0-7 to 0-3 clear.
Meegan's scoring heroics were not finished there as four minutes before the break he slotted over from play from close to 55 metres, taking full advantage of the wind for a memorable point.
A James Doran free in first half added time made it 0-8 to 0-5 at the interval.
SCORERS - Dublin: R McGarry 1-2, T Keane 0-4, J Doran (0-1f) 0-3, C Howley, D O'Brien (0-1 pen) 0-2 each, S Bugler, S Farrelly 0-1 each. Wexford: I Meegan 0-4 (0-3f), R Waters, K Firman, C Devereux 0-2 each, S Nolan 0-1.
DUBLIN: D O’Hanlon; C Smith, N Doran, M Mullin; S Farrelly, N Matthews, E O’Dea; D Ryan, E Fitzpatrick; C Howley, K Lynch-Bissett, R McGarry; D O’Brien, J Doran, S Bugler. Subs: J Holland for Fitzpatrick (43), T Keane for Howley (43), C Archer for O’Brien (52), N Nolan for Farrelly (53), R Shaw for O’Dea (58), D Brennan for Lynch-Bissett (59).
WEXFORD: I Meegan; D O'Keeffe, M O'Neill, F Roche; D Furlong, R Devereux, G Sheehan; G Lyons, R Waters; K Firman, M Dwyer, R Brooks; C Devereux, J Meyler, S Nolan. Subs: Q Saunders for O'Keeffe (45), J Dunne for Brooks (45), C Walsh for Nolan (56), J O’Leary for Dwyer (59), P Dunbar for Roche (63), J Thomas for R Devereux (63).
REF: J Hickey (Carlow).
GROUP 1 – GAME 2
DUBLIN 2-16 WESTMEATH 1-13
Dublin under-20 footballers made it two wins from two starts when defeated Westmeath by six-points in this Leinster U20FC Group 1 clash at Parnell Park.
The Dubs started well with points from Tom Keane, Cormac Howley, Seán Bugler and the influential James Doran to lead 0-4 to 0-0 but were rocked by a 14th minute breakaway goal which was clinically executed for Seán Pettit to finish to the net.
By the 20th minute the midlanders were 1-3 to 0-5 in front but Dublin finished the half on top to lead 1-8 to 1-5 at the interval.
Dublin’s goal was something special with James Madden carrying the ball over 80 metres before sliding the ball low to the net past Jordan Nugent in the 25th minute.
James Doran also kicked three points to give the Dubs a strong half-time position having played with the wind.
Immediately on the restart wing-back Seán Farrelly got up the field to split the posts and points from Dan O’Brien (two) and Bugler pushed their side 1-12 to 1-5 clear.
In the 41st minute Howley elected to go for a point with the goal at his mercy, again following unselfish play by Doran.
Dublin’s second goal in the 47th minute when Bugler and Doran combined to effectively seal the deal as the home side moved 2-14 t o1-8 clear.
But Dublin will not be fully happy with their conclusion to the game as Westmeath enjoyed plenty of possession and scoring opportunities.
Before the finish Dublin goalkeeper David O’Hanlon made a great save to deny John Tumulty.
SCORERS– Dublin: S Bugler 1-4, J Doran 0-4 (0-1f), J Madden 1-0, T Keane (0-1f), C Howley, D O’Brien 0-2 each, S Farrelly, C Archer (0-1f) 0-1 each. Westmeath: S Pettit 1-6 (0-3 ‘45’, 0-1f), T Molloy, J Tumulty (0-2f) 0-2 each, A Loughlin, G Carr, D Reid 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: D O’Hanlon; C Smith, N Doran, N Nolan; S Farrelly, N Matthews, E O’Dea; D Ryan, E Fitzpatrick; C Howley, J Madden, T Keane; D O’Brien, J Doran, S Bugler. Subs: J Holland for Fitzpatrick (41), C Archer for Keane (44), M Mullin for Nolan (47), R Shaw for O’Dea (52), K Lynch Bissett for Madden (55), R McGarry for Howley (57).
WESTMEATH: J Nugent; E Bracken, G Carr, J Moran; C Dillon, E Nally, P Maxwell; A Loughlin, J Tumulty; J Maxwell, N Harte, D Reid; T Molloy, S Pettit, B Cox. Subs: K Regan for Cox (37), S Clinton for Dillon (42), B Kavanagh for Molloy (55), C McCormack for Reid (55).
REF: B Cawley (Kildare).
GROUP 1 – GAME 1
DUBLIN 2-21 LONGFORD 0-11
Dublin U20 footballers opened their Leinster Championship Group 1 account with an accomplished 16-point victory in this EirGrid Leinster U20FC at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.
The Dubs established their authority on the game in the early stages and by half-time had built up a winning total when leading 2-11 to 0-8.
Dublin's first goal came in the eighth minute when the highly influential Dan O'Brien dovetailed well with James Madden before sliding the ball to the corner of Conor Gallagher's net to lead 1-1 to 0-2.
Two minutes later the smart-moving Dublin attack carved open the Longford defence again for Tom Keane to apply the finishing touch from close range to move 2-2 to 0-2 clear.
Keane's goal came at end of one of Dublin's most enterprising moves with Cormac Howley threading a brilliant ball to James Doran who released Seán Bugler to square the ball across the face of goal for Keane.
With Dublin at top at midfield and Madden also dropping in there to 'steal' a few Longford kickouts the Dubs enjoyed plenty of possession.
Dublin's interplay at times up front was impressive with Keane, O'Brien, Cormac Howley, James Doran and Seán Bugler all on target to lead 2-11 to 0-8 at the break.
On the restart O'Brien, a starting member of last year's All-Ireland U21 winning team, Howley and Bugler with a stylish effort off his left pushed the lead out to 2-14 to 0-8 inside five minutes.
With just over ten minutes remaining Tom Gray's side were 2-19 to 0-9 clear following a flurry of scores from O'Brien (3), a long-range effort from Eoin O'Dea and another from the pacey James Madden.
However, Dublin were also guilty of some missed opportunities from open play and deadball before sub Ciarán Archer took over the freetaking duties following his 55th minute introduction and he slotted a '45', a free and one from play.
Before the conclusion corner-back Nathan Nolan got up the park but his dipping short came back off the crossbar while Archer also looked to have been fouled in the square but play was waved on.
SCORERS - Dublin: D O'Brien 1-9, T Keane 1-1, S Bugler, C Howley, C Archer (0-1 '45', 0-1f) 0-3 each, J Doran, J Madden 0-1 each. Longford: T McGann 0-5 (0-5f), P Lynn, S Farrell, A McKeon (0-1f), IO'Sullivan, R Hawkins, R Harkin 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: D O'Hanlon; N Nolan, N Doran, C Smith; K Kennedy, N Matthews, E O'Dea; D Ryan, E Fitzpatrick; S Bugler, D O'Brien, J Madden; J Doran, C Howley, T Keane. Subs: C Hynes for Keane (36), J Holland for Fitzpatrick (48), M Mullin for Kennedy (51), C Archer for Howley (55), K Lynch Bissett for Madden (57), S Farrelly for O'Dea (60).
LONGFORD: C Gallagher; K Gilmore, G Flynn, M McCormack; C Lee, M Cahill, S Farrell; E Farrell, C McElligott; I O'Sullivan, P Lynn, N Farrelly; R Hawkins, T McGann, A McKeon. Subs: D Duggan for Cahill (ht), R Harkin for O'Sullivan (38), R McHugh for McElligott (46), S Campbell for McCormack (48), R Claffey for Farrell (55), A McGee for Hawkins (59).
REF: N Ward (Westmeath).