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Con O'Callaghan struck a first half goal for Dublin against Louth.
Con O'Callaghan struck a first half goal for Dublin against Louth.

Leinster SFC: Dublin cruise to victory


Leinster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final

DUBLIN 5-21 LOUTH 0-10

By Paul Keane at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise

As a statement of their Championship intentions, this was about as emphatic as it gets from Dublin in Portlaoise.

Jim Gavin's five-in-a-row chasing Dublin side opened up with some stunning football to storm through to the Leinster SFC semi-finals, pulling of a 26-point win.

A whopping 1-12 from Cormac Costello and goals from Con O'Callaghan, Brian Fenton, Michael Darragh Macauley and Philly McMahon got the job done in a most impressive fashion.

A crowd of 14,380 looked on at O'Moore Park as Dublin took what they hope will be the first of eight steps to Championship heaven.

The chief downside from the win which secures Dublin a June 9 semi-final clash with Kildare or Longford was Paul Mannion's 25th minute dismissal.

The straight red card means he will be banned for their last four date though they clearly have an arsenal of forward talent to call upon.

They had 11 different scorers in total including McMahon, who sniped that rare goal, and Michael Fitzsimons who shot an even rarer point late on after surging forward.

There was a huge cheer too for experienced full-back Rory O'Carroll who returned to action as a 47th minute substitute after spending several years abroad after the 2015 All-Ireland win.

Dublin led 0-7 to 0-1 after 20 minutes as free-taker Costello punished Louth indiscipline with a series of points from placed balls.

Dublin's first goal arrived in the 23rd minute with O'Callaghan getting the credit for the last touch in a crowded area.

He combined with the industrious Niall Scully to initially set up the opportunity and suddenly Dublin were up and running with a big lead.

Costello closed out the first-half with three converted frees in a row to put eight-in-a-row Leinster winners Dublin 1-12 to 0-4 clear at half-time.

Dublin didn't disappoint their followers in the second-half despite being reduced to 14 men when Mannion saw red for a 25th minute incident involving Conal McKeever.

Fenton and sub Macauley netted before Costello got the goal his performance deserved and McMahon was the unlikely fifth goalscorer for Dublin.

Jim Gavin ran his full allocation of six subs including Paddy Small who pinched a point.

It told a tale of how easy Dublin had it that full-back Fitzsimons even got forward for a late score in the huge win.

Scorers for Dublin: Cormac Costello 1-12 (10fs, 145), Brian Fenton 1-1, Con O'Callaghan 1-0, Michael Darragh Macauley 1-0, Philly McMahon 1-0, Paul Mannion 0-2, Niall Scully 0-2, Kevin McManamon 0-1 (f), Ciaran Kilkenny 0-1, Paddy Small 0-1, Michael Fitzsimons 0-1.

Scorers for Louth: Ryan Burns 0-4 (2fs), Jim McEneaney 0-2, Andy McDonnell 0-1, Ciaran Downey 0-1, Eoghan Callaghan 0-1, Conal McKeever 0-1.

DUBLIN: Stephen Cluxton; David Byrne, Michael Fitzsimons, Cian O'Sullivan; Jack McCaffrey, John Small, James McCarthy; Brian Fenton, Darren Gavin; Niall Scully, Ciaran Kilkenny, Brian Howard; Paul Mannion, Con O'Callaghan, Cormac Costello.

Subs: Michael Darragh Macauley for Gavin (41), Philly McMahon for O'Sullivan (41), Rory O'Carroll for McCaffrey (47), Paddy Small for O'Callaghan (47), Kevin McManamon for Scully (54), Sean Bugler for Costello (63).

LOUTH: Fergal Sheeky; Fergal Donohoe, Emmet Carolan, James Craven; Anthony Williams, Bevan Duffy, John Clutterbuck; Tommy Durnin, James Califf; Ciaran Downey, Jim McEneaney, Conal McKeever; Ryan Burns, Declan Byrne, Andy McDonnell.

Subs: Dan Corcoran for Donohoe (h/t), Sam Mulroy for Byrne (h/t), Conor Early for Califf (43), Derek Maguire for Clutterbuck (46), Eoghan Callaghan for Craven (52, black card), Eoghan Duffy for McEneaney (60).

REFEREE: Jerome Henry (Mayo).

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