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All-Ireland SFC: Dublin finish with a flourish

Stephen Cluxton, Dublin, and Donie Smith, Roscommon, in All-Ireland SFC action at Croke Park. Photo by Stephen Marken/Sportsfile

Stephen Cluxton, Dublin, and Donie Smith, Roscommon, in All-Ireland SFC action at Croke Park. Photo by Stephen Marken/Sportsfile

All-Ireland SFC Group Two

Dublin 2-19 Roscommon 0-13

By Paul Keane at Croke Park

A late surge that delivered 2-4 without response eased Dublin to a successful first defence of their All-Ireland SFC title.

Just four points up with 66 minutes on the clock, late Dublin goals from substitute Colm Basquel and top scorer Con O'Callaghan, who struck 1-4 overall, ultimately put a dozen points between the teams at the finish.

Dublin had 11 different scorers in total including defender Cian Murphy who impressed before being replaced with an injury picked up during a typically wholehearted block.

With plenty still apparently in the tank, it was a positive first group outing for Dublin who will return to duty against Cavan at Kingspan Breffni next weekend.

Roscommon, who memorably drew with Dublin at this same stage last year, kept pace with Dublin for most of the contest, but were burned off in the closing minutes.

They will host Mayo at Dr Hyde Park in Round Two next Saturday and a win is now crucial after this disappointment.

Dublin changed a fifth of their team from the Leinster final lineout with Sean MacMahon and Brian Howard recalled in defence while Ross McGarry returned in the half-forward line.

Sean Bugler was named to start at left half-back but Howard replaced him while MacMahon essentially replaced captain James McCarthy who started against Louth, but wasn't among the 26 here.

It looked, initially at least, like Dublin had got their setup just about spot on as they raced three points clear by the fifth minute.

The influential Brian Fenton, McGarry and Paul Mannion clipped points and already it was lookin like another of those big Dublin wins at Croke Park may be on the cards.

It didn't pan out that way though, far from it in fact as Roscommon dug in and played a cautious counter attacking game, similar to what Louth did in the provincial decider.

Louth led that day at half-time by 0-7 to 0-6 to and, again, it had a similar feel at the break as Dublin led this time by 0-10 to 0-9.

Fenton, Mannion, O'Callaghan and McGarry all scored a brace of points each in the opening half but it wasn't Dublin at their vintage best.

Roscommon were aware of the Sky Blues' ability to potentially counter attack them into oblivion, as O'Callaghan demonstrated in the 23rd minute with a trademark score.

When Roscommon did work an opening for themselves at the other end, they took their chances well. Diarmuid Murtagh finished the half with four points, three of which came from play, and Kerry man Conor Cox was sharp alongside him in attack, drilling three points.

There was little change to the rhythm of the game throughout the third quarter and with 20 minutes to go Dublin were still one ahead, 0-13 to 0-12.

But they lacked a cutting edge and boss Farrell tried to breathe fresh life into his team by introducing dynamic duo Bugler and Jack McCaffrey. All-Star Basquel and Paddy Small were later brought on in attack.

But it was a player on the pitch from the start, Murphy, that got them going with his second point of the game and Bugler added another.

Then O'Callaghan fisted one over after a run in along the left endline and suddenly Dublin were four clear, 0-17 to 0-13.

Now they were starting to fire and Roscommon struggled to contain Dublin's fresh impetus. Basquel's goal after being fed by Fenton at the Davin End was the score that sealed it for Dublin and O'Callaghan palmed in a second goal for Dublin after a lightning break from defence with 70 minutes on the clock.

Scorers for Dublin: Con O'Callaghan 1-4, Colm Basquel 1-0, Brian Fenton 0-2, Paul Mannion 0-2, Ross McGarry 0-2, Niall Scully 0-2, Cormac Costello 0-2 (2fs), Cian Murphy 0-2, John Small 0-1, Tom Lahiff 0-1, Sean Bugler 0-1.

Scorers for Roscommon: Diarmuid Murtagh 0-5 (2fs), Conor Cox 0-4 (1f), Daire Cregg 0-4 (1f).

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Sean MacMahon, Eoin Murchan, Michael Fitzsimons; Brian Howard, Cian Murphy, John Small; Brian Fenton, Tom Lahiff; Ross McGarry, Cormac Costello, Ciaran Kilkenny; Paul Mannion, Con O'Callaghan, Niall Scully.

Subs: Sean Bugler for Mannion 45, Jack McCaffrey for Lahiff 48, Colm Basquel for Scully 52, Paddy Small for McGarry 52, Theo Clancy for Murphy 63.

Roscommon: Conor Carroll; Robbie Dolan, Brian Stack, David Murray; Niall Higgins, Niall Daly, Eoin McCormack; Enda Smith, Tadhg O'Rourke; Dylan Ruane, Donie Smith, Ciaran Lennon; Diarmuid Murtagh, Daire Cregg, Conor Cox.

Subs: Shane Cunnane for O'Rourke 43, Ultan Harney for Donie Smith 43, Ruaidhri Fallon for Daly 50, Ben O'Carroll for Ruane 55, Keith Doyle for Cox 70.

Referee: Derek O'Mahoney (Tipperary).