Dublin retained their Allianz Football League Division 1 crown with ease, hammering Derry by 3-19 to 1-10 in the final at Croke Park in an ominous show of strength ahead of the upcoming All-Ireland Football Championship season.
An early Derry goal raised hopes of an upset but the All-Ireland and league champions dominated the remainder of the opening period to lead by seven points at half-time.
Derry fought back with the first two scores of the second half but goals from Bernard Brogan, Kevin McManamon and Diarmuid Connolly ensured the Ulster men were never in contention.
The Dubs were in total control throughout, and could even afford the luxury of 17 wides as they hit cruised to victory.
The Oak Leafers, who had been so impressive in their semi-final victory over Mayo, had given the hot favourites an early scare with a goal in just the fourth minute.
After a Bernard Brogan free opened the scoring, Emmet McGuckin caused havoc in the Dubs defence and squared brilliantly for Cailean O’Boyle to slap the ball into the net.
That only served to anger the beast, however, as Dublin quickly banished thoughts of an upset with nine unanswered points and Derry failed to score for 20 minutes.
Eoghan O’Gara was the standout performer in the first half, repeatedly driving at a shellshocked Derry defence, scoring one point himself and setting up several others for team-mates.
Dublin’s phenomenal firepower was showcased once again, with Bernard Brogan flawless from frees, and Diarmuid Connolly, Paul Flynn and Alan Brogan all scoring fine points.
McGuckin landed Derry’s first point of the match in the 27th minute as they rallied somewhat before the break, trailing 0-13 to 1-3 at half-time.
Points from Gerard O’Kane and Mark Lynch, whose shot grazed the crossbar on its way over, gave Derry a flicker of optimism after the restart but that was quickly extinguished by a sublime Bernard Brogan goal.
The corner-forward took possession on the 20 and sent an angled drive into the top corner of the net, striking the ball so sweetly that it had hit the stanchion and bounced back on to the pitch before some of the Derry defenders realised it had gone in.
Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton made an important save from Lynch as Derry fought back with points from McGuckin, Kevin Johnson and Fergal Doherty before Kevin McManamon struck for a killer second Dubs goal just before the hour mark.
McManamon, an early sub for the injured Paddy Andrews, saw his initial shot well saved by ’keeper Thomas Mallon but the ball squirted free and McManamon bundled it over the line.
The game was over as a contest and the Dubs were content to give their subs a run and to try ambitious long-range shots, many of which sailed wide.
O’Kane had a spectacular volleyed effort stopped on the line before Diarmuid Connolly put the final nail in the Derry coffin with a coolly-taken goal two minutes from time, sidestepping his marker to plant a neat near-post finish past Mallon.
After sealing their third national title in a row, and particularly given the manner of their casual dismissals of Cork and now Derry, Dublin’s rivals could be forgiven for fearing another summer of Sky Blue supremacy.
Dublin: S Cluxton (0-01f); P McMahon, R O'Carroll, J Cooper (0-01); J McCarthy, N Devereux, K Nolan; MD Macauley, C O'Sullivan; P Flynn (0-03), P Andrews, D Connolly (1-02); A Brogan (0-02), E O'Gara (0-02), B Brogan (1-06, 3f).
Subs: K McManamon (1-00) for Andews (29), D Byrne for Nolan (45), M Fitzsimmons for O’Carroll (60), C Reddin (0-01) for O’Gara (60), D Nelson (0-01) for O’Sullivan (63), T Brady for A Brogan (66).
Derry: T Mallon; O Duffy, C McKaigue, D McBride; K Johnson (0-01), G O'Kane (0-02), A McAlynn; F Doherty (0-01), P Bradley; E Lynn, M Lynch (0-02), C McFaul; B Heron, E McGuckin (0-02), C O'Boyle (1-01).
Subs: E Bradley (0-01f) for Heron (28), D Mullen for P Bradley (47), D Brown for Duffy (Black card 50), M Craig for Johnson (66), N Holly for Lynn (66).