Dublin ……. 4-7
Meath ……. 0-13
With 10 of the side that lost narrowly to Galway in last year’s All-Ireland final, a more economical Dublin were good value for their win in the Leinster under 20 football semi final at Navan last night..
Tom Gray’s side will bid to retain their provincial title when they face Offaly in next week’s decider.
Having fallen nine points behind twice in the third quarter Meath reduced the deficit to three by the 59th minute through Diarmuid Moriarty’s fourth point from play.
However, Adam Fearon’s stoppage time goal put a full stop to the game as well as leaving Meath to rue some missed chances .
Third quarter goals from Mark Lavin and Lorcan O’Dell into the town end moved the holders 10 points clear (3-5 to 0-4) with 36 minutes gone.
In total, Dublin had four different goalscorers among their six scorers. Two pointed Fionn Murray 45s were another notable feature.
A busy Meath ‘keeper Sean Brennan made some fine saves including tipping a Murray effort over the crossbar in the 42nd minute to leave the adjacent scoreboard reading 3-6 to 0-6.
Meath scored six of the next seven points in that spirited response from Barry Callaghan and Sean Kelly’s side that gave the home support something to cheer about as they chipped away at the deficit.
Meath’s scoring potential was enhanced by the introduction of Luke Mitchell in the 28th minute. By the end the Dunshaughlin teenager had seven points (six frees) to his name.
Dublin made the running the from the off. Following Mark Lavin’s first minute point Tom Gray’s side might have got a goal. Meath ‘keeper Sean Brennan saved from Luke Ward at the expense of a 45 that Murray pointed.
Luke Swan goaled for Dublin from close range after Luke Murphy-Guinane’s shot was blocked by Meath captain James O’Hare in the eighth minute.
Meath got off the mark seven minutes in through Diarmuid Moriarty. Lavin added his second point to leave the holders 1-4 to 0-1 ahead at the first water break.
A disjointed second quarter during which Meath passed up a trio of point-scoring opportunities finally yielded a score in the 30th when Murray pointed his second 45.
Just before the break, Meath sub Luke Mitchell landed a free from a central position. Dublin led by 1-5 to 0-2 at half-time.
Scorers: Dublin – Mark Lavin 1-3 0-1f); Luke Swan, Adam Fearon, Lorcan O’Dell 1-0 each; Fionn Murray 0-3 (2 45s); Luke Murphy-Guinane 0-1
Meath – Luke Mitchell 0-6 (5fs); Diarmuid Moriarity 0-4; Jack Flynn 0-2 (45s); Niall Finnerty 0-1
Dublin — Jake Turley; Conor Tyrrell, Adam Rafter, Ben Millist; Rory O’Dwyer, Adam Waddick, Mark L’Estrange; Mark O’Leary, Adam Fearon; Mark Lavin, Lorcan O’Dell, Luke Murphy-Guinane; Fionn Murray, Luke Swan, Luke Ward. Subs – Senan Forker for O’Leary (ht), Conor Chawke for Murphy-Guinane (38), Colm Wlash for Ward (49), Sean O’Driscoll for L’Estrange (54), David O’Dowd for Murray (60 + 5).
Meath – Sean Brennan; James O’Hare (C), Harry O’Higgins, Conor Farrelly; Aaron Chinchilla, Conor Harford, Oisin McCloskey; Sean Coffey, Jack Flynn; Niall Smullen, Niall Finnerty, Luke Kelly; Brian O’Hanlon, Pearse Sheridan, Diarmuid Moriarty. Subs – Luke Mitchell for O’Hanlon (23), Colin Hawdon for Kelly (ht), Eoghan Frayne for Smullen (ht), Conor Quigley for McCloskey (46), Ciaran Caulfield for Harford (54),
Referee – Fergal Smyth (Offaly)