/ GAA

Dublin 1-22 Westmeath 0-09

Updated: Sunday, 02 Jun 2013 14:53 | Comments

Dublin's Michael Darragh McAuley and Darren Daly with David Duffy and Ger Egan of Westmeath
Dublin's Michael Darragh McAuley and Darren Daly with David Duffy and Ger Egan of Westmeath

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Dublin’s class and attacking power overwhelmed Westmeath as Jim Gavin’s side set up a Leinster SFC semi-final clash with Kildare with a 1-22 to 0-09 victory at Croke Park.

Bernard Brogan and Paddy Andrews shared a seven-point tally as the Dubs seized control, leading by 0-12 to 0-04 at the interval, with John Heslin hitting 0-03 from frees for Westmeath.

Brogan, one of nine Dublin scorers, finished with seven points, and their 16-point winning margin would have been greater had Diarmuid Connolly taken just one of his three golden goal-scoring chances, before Paddy Andrews blasted to the net in the 69th minute.

Westmeath suffered a cruel pre-match blow with the withdrawal of ace attacker Dessie Dolan with a hamstring injury, and it was clear from a very early stage that their offensive firepower came nowhere close to matching that of the Dubs.

Paul Mannion got on the end of a move involving Bernard Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly to smack in a shot that Gary Connaughton brilliantly saved.

But the points were soon flying over the bar with an ominous regularity. Brogan nailed two, but missed a handful more, while Paddy Andrews sent a sensational effort sailing between the uprights at the Canal End.

Mannion curled over his first ever championship point, and it was Connolly, revelling in his new role on the left flank, who made it 0-8 to 0-00 in the 22nd minute.

Kieran Gavin and Paul Sharry defended defiantly, but were often left exposed to waves of blue advancing towards their goal.

Nevertheless, Westmeath managed to stem the tide, giving their hard-pressed defence some respite and making it count in their favour on the scoreboard.

Denis Glennon showed balance and trickery to notch their opening point in the 24th minute, and John Heslin steered three frees between the posts to cut the deficit in half.

But with Ger Brennan and James McCarthy prompting from deep, the Dubs were soon back on the rampage and they scored the last four points of the half to re-impose their authority.

Brogan brought his tally to four, Andrews claimed his third, and Jim Gavin’s men went in at the break with a 0-12 to 0-04 advantage.

Westmeath added three more points, two of them from Heslin, in the opening six minutes of the second half, but they were soon on the back foot again and were let off the hook when Connolly spurned two glorious goal chances.

First he had a shot saved off the line by Mark McCallon and moments later another surging run from Macauley sent him through, but he pulled his shot wide of the far post.

Johnny Cooper made a strong statement with a solid display at corner back, and while Rory O’Connor struggled at times to contain the dangerous Glennon, who fired over another quality point on 50 minutes, it was a routine evening for the Dublin defence.

Brogan and Flynn added to their tallies, and Connolly took Macauley’s return pass to float over a delightful score.

Dublin allowed themselves the luxury of a third goal miss, again from Connolly, who should have done better when sent in by substitute Cormac Costello, but fired his shot wide.

Ciaran Kilkenny became the sixth of Dublin’s starting forwards to score, and they had nine players on the scoresheet in all when substitute Dean Rock tapped over a free.

The best was yet to come, with Rock’s incisive pass sending Andrews in for a brilliant 69th minute goal, a rocket that flew past a helpless Connaughton and into the top corner of the net at a rapturous Hill 16 end.

Dublin: S Cluxton, D Daly, R O’Carroll, J Cooper, J McCarthy, G Brenna, J McCaffrey (0-1), MD Macauley, C O’Sullivan (0-1), P Flynn (0-3), C Kilkenny (0-1), D Connolly (0-3), P Mannion (0-1), P Andrews (1-3), B Brogan (0-7, 5f).

Subs: K O’Brien for Daly, N Devereux for McCarthy, D Rock (0-2, 1f) for Mannion, D Bastic for Macauley, C Costello for Brogan.

Westmeath: G Connaughton, M McCallon, K Gavin, K Maguire, D Harte, P Sharry, J Gaffey, D Duffy, J Heslin (0-5, 5f), K Martin (0-1), C McCormack, J Dolan, G Egan, D Glennon (0-2), C Curley

Subs: Damian Dolan for Curley, D Daly for Duffy, D Corroon (0-1)for J Dolan, P Bannon for Egan, A Purcell for McCallon

Referee: E Kinsella (Laois).

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