Con O’Callaghan’s goal helped reigning National Football League champions Dublin continue their defence with a 2-14 to 1-12 Division 1 victory over Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park.
Dublin had already been defeated by Monaghan and Kerry in 2019, but Jim Gavin’s side have now registered three wins and have their campaign back on track.
But it was 1-09 to 1-09 at half-time after a brilliant half of football despite the greasy underfoot conditions.
Con O’Callaghan scored Dublin’s goal to give them a five-point lead. However, Cathal Cregg’s goal helped Roscommon tie the game up before the break.
Roscommon took the lead early in the second half but then Dublin took control. Dean Rock went on to score 1-05 as his team pulled clear and Conor Devaney was sent-off for a second bookable offence.
Stephen Cluxton, Colm Basquel, Andrew McGowan and Cian O’Connor were all drafted into the Dublin starting 15 before throw-in.
And Dublin negotiated the blanket defence early when Niall Scully skipped inside to score their opener after three minutes.
But Conor Cox has been inspirational up front since his arrival from Kerry this year, and he kicked the equaliser from wide out on the right.
Colm Basquel and Paddy Andrews (mark) hit back as Dublin converted from easier opportunities, but the teams were level for the second time in the 13th minute.
Donie Smith scored a fine effort on the run and then Ciaran Lennon tagged on another after he was awarded a mark.
Dublin were still at their clinical best in the final third and O’Callaghan pushed them back in front, one minute after the leveller.
The pressure didn’t ease and Brian Fenton was fouled by Shane Killoran when he went in search of Dublin’s fifth point. Dean Rock scored from the resultant free.
And O’Callaghan crashed his shot to Colm Lavin’s net in the 19th minute. Rock claimed possession from a long ball in and when a couple of Roscommon defenders forced a fumble, O’Callaghan followed up to score.
Niall Kilroy and another booming Cox effort kept Roscommon alive in the contest at a crucial juncture and they trailed by 1-05 to 0-05 after 23 minutes.
Andrews and Lavin (45) traded points before Rock’s second free and O’Connor extended the Dublin lead.
However, Cregg scored a goal against the run of play on the half-hour mark. He fielded Donie Smith’s delivery and drove to the net.
Andrews settled Dublin again but the atmosphere turned up a notch, and the Roscommon fans began to sense the possibility of a shock.
Cox fired over his third and Roscommon only trailed by 1-09 to 1-07 with one minute of normal time remaining in the first half.
But Ronan Daly and Enda Smith scored points in added time as Roscommon moved level, 1-9 to 1-9, at half-time.
Roscommon took the momentum into the second half and David Murray combined with Cox to give them a two-point lead.
But from there on in Dublin wrestled control and it was all about Rock.
The Ballymun Kickhams clubman scored his third free in the 42nd minute, and added his goal in the 51st minute after a pile up in the goalmouth.
There was no way back for a Roscommon side who retreated deep into their defence and invited Dublin on.
Rock added a couple of points, Scully and Darren Gavin all scored and Dublin were 2-14 to 1-11 in front before substitute Aonghus Lyons scored the consolation.
Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Jonny Cooper, David Byrne, Andrew McGowan; Jack McCaffrey, Cian O’Sullivan, Cian O’Connor (0-01); Brian Fenton, Darren Gavin (0-01); Niall Scully (0-02), Con O’Callaghan (1-01), Colm Basquel (0-01); Paddy Andrews (0-03, 0-01f), Dean Rock (1-05, 0-04f, 0-01 45), Cormac Costello.
Subs: Robert McDaid for McCaffrey (10), Paul Mannion for Costello (45), Brian Howard for McGowan (52), Paul Flynn for Basquel (52).
Roscommon: Colm Lavin (0-01, 0-01 45); David Murray (0-01), Conor Daly, Gary Patterson; Conor Devaney, Niall Daly, Ronan Daly (0-01); Tadgh O’Rourke, Shane Killoran; Niall Kilroy (0-01), Donie Smith (0-01), Enda Smith (0-01); Ciaran Lennon (0-01, 0-01f) , Conor Cox (0-04, 0-01f), Cathal Cregg (1-00).
Subs: Sean Mullooly for Kilroy (52), Colin Compton for E Smith (52), Aonghus Lyons (0-01) for Cregg (57), Conor Hussey for Killoran (59), Hubert Darcy for D Smith (64), Michael Darragh Macauley for Fenton (72).
Referee: Pádraig O’Sullivan (Kerry).