Leinster SFC Semi-Final: Dublin hammer Westmeath
Leinster senior football championship semi-final
DUBLIN 4-29 WESTMEATH 0-10
By Paul Keane at Croke Park
Rampant Dublin cruised through to the Leinster senior football championship final thanks to a 31-point thrashing of Westmeath, their biggest winning margin of the Jim Gavin era.
Paul Mannion fired eight points from play for the back to back All-Ireland champions while there were goals from Dean Rock, Eoghan O'Gara, Ciaran Kilkenny and Kevin McManamon.
It was all too easy for Dublin who led by 11 points at half-time and rammed home their authority with a second-half scoring blitz.
It's Westmeath's third defeat to Dublin in consecutive Championship campaigns having lost to Gavin's side in the 2015 and 2016 Leinster Finals.
They were still alive and kicking at half-time in each of those games but slipped out of contention early on here and simply couldn't haul themselves back into it.
Kildare were already through to the July 16 final having beaten Meath in the other semi-final and may be concerned after viewing this show of Dublin firepower.
Westmeath still have a chance to redeem themselves in the All-Ireland qualifiers and will want to put this afternoon behind them as quickly as possible.
The sides were level at 0-4 to 0-4 after 13 minutes but Dublin took off from there and didn't look back.
Westmeath only scored one more point in the first-half while Dublin racked up 1-11 in contrast, including a 28th minute Rock goal that put the provincial holders 1-11 to 0-5 ahead.
All of Dublin's forwards oozed quality with Con O'Callaghan, whose father played for Westmeath, helping himself to three points while Paddy Andrews picked off two fine points.
Dublin led 1-15 to 0-5 at half-time and back to back points from Mannion after the restart stretched the gap.
O'Gara fired in Dublin's second goal in the 42nd minute after a great catch from a Kilkenny ball in to the danger area.
Kilkenny, Mannion, Shane Carthy and substitute Bernard Brogan scored more points before Dublin's third goal late on. That came courtesy of Kilkenny who ran in along the left endline and blasted to the roof of the net.
Not to be outdone, McManamon took his own personal tally to 1-1 with a fine 74th minute strike from the right of goals to the top right corner after a pass from O'Gara.
Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 1-5 (0-2 45, 0-3f), Paul Mannion 0-8, Ciaran Kilkenny 1-3, Kevin McManamon 1-1, Eoghan O'Gara 1-0, Con O'Callaghan 0-3, Paddy Andrews 0-2, Bernard Brogan 0-2 (0-1f), Bryan Fenton 0-2, Shane Carthy 0-2, Jack McCaffrey 0-1.
Scorers for Westmeath: John Heslin 0-4 (0-2f), Kieran Martin 0-3, John Egan 0-2, Ger Egan 0-1.
Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Cian O'Sullivan, Michael Fitzsimons, Darren Daly; Eric Lowndes, Jonny Cooper, Jack McCaffrey; Brian Fenton, James McCarthy; Ciaran Kilkenny, Con O'Callaghan, Niall Scully; Dean Rock, Paddy Andrews, Paul Mannion. Subs: Eoghan O'Gara for Andrews h/t, Shane Carthy for Cooper 44, David Byrne for Fitzsimons 44, Bernard Brogan for Rock 47, Kevin McManamon for Scully 47, Brian Howard for O'Callaghan 61.
Westmeath: Darren Quinn; Jamie Gonoud, Kevin Maguire, Frank Boyle; David Lynch, Killian Daly, James Dolan; Ger Egan, Alan Gaughan; John Egan, Paul Sharry, Callum McCormack; Mark McCallon, Kieran Martin, John Heslin. Subs: Noel Mulligan for Gaughan h/t, Kelvin Reilly for McCormack 49, Cormac Boyle for Daly 50, Shane Corcoran for J Egan 53, Denis Glennon for Sharry 57, Alan Stone for Lynch 65. Mulligan black card 67.
Ref: Conor Lane (Cork).