Fourteen-man Dublin got their historic tilt at five in a row underway as they eased to an whopping 26-point, 5-21 to 0-10 victory over Louth in O’Moore Park Portlaoise.

Jim Gavin may have learned little from the display, but they may have stumbled upon something for later in the summer.

With Dean Rock out, Cormac Costello took over the free taking duties and gave a breathtakingly clinical display of place kicking, he finished with 1-12, ten frees and one of them a '45.   

Louth dared to dream and single-handedly Costello squashed that and, despite losing Paul Mannion midway through the first half, Dublin coasted. 

One of the loudest cheers of the day, was marked when Rory O’Carroll returned to the inter-county fray on the 47th minute. 

Louth’s last win over Dublin came in 1973 and thoughts of ending that 46-year wait may briefly have passed through their supporters' minds when Ryan Burns opened the scoring for Louth. Burns came in as a late replacement for full-forward Sam Mulroy.

Dublin then set about their business and Costello got the confidence from his very first kick. A superbly stroked '45, got his swing motion flowing.

Louth were backs to wall at this stage with Niall Scully and Con O’Callaghan stinging the palms of Louth goalkeeper Fergal Sheekey.

Paul Mannion sandwiched three frees Costello landed but the Kilmacud man’s day was soon to end.

Having opted to to go short, Louth went long and Andy McDonnell and Burns again provided Louth with some brief respite with a brace from some rare positive field position.

A driving Con O’Callaghan run down the centre broke down the barrier and delivered the first goal but the dam never really burst.

Mannion saw red for a dangerous head high challenge on Louth Conall McKeever, a trend for the summer, perhaps.

Costello surgically saw out the half with five sweetly struck dead balls with Jim McEneaney interrupting the sequence to make 1-12 to 0-04 at the turn.

Brian Fenton and Costello opened the half with a quick 1-2 with Jim Gavin’s half-time team talk still ringing in their ears.

Eoghan Callaghan capped his debut in red with a score from the bench, however the pace was less than that of a challenge match at this stage.

Substitutes Michael Darragh MacAuley and Phillip McMahon combined to raise the green flag each and Costello rounded off his virtuoso performance with a goal to add to an already burgeoning tally.

Louth: Fergal Sheekey; Fergal Donohoe, Emmet Carolan, James Craven; Anthony Williams, Bevan Duffy, John Clutterbuck; Tommy Durnin, James Califf; Andy McDonnell (0-01), Jim McEneaney (0-02), Conall McKeever (0-01); Ciaran Downey (0-01) Ryan Burns (0-4, 0-02f), Declan Byrne. 

Subs Used: Dan Corcoran for Donohoe (h-t), Sam Mulroy for Byrne (h-t), Conor Early for Califf (43), Derek Maguire for Clutterbuck (46), Eoghan Callaghan (0-01) for Craven (54 bc), Eoghan Duffy for McEneaney (60).

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; David Byrne, Cian O’Sullivan, Michael Fitzsimons (0-01); Jack McCaffrey, John Small, James McCarthy; Brian Fenton (1-01), Darren Gavin; Niall Scully (0-02), Ciaran Kilkenny (0-01), Brian Howard; Paul Mannion (0-02), Con O’Callaghan (1-00), Cormac Costello (1-12, 0-10f, 0-0145).

Subs Used: Michael Darragh MacAuley (1-00) for Gavin (40), Phillip McMahon (1-00) for O’Sullivan (40), Rory O’Carroll for McCaffrey (47), Paddy Small (0-01) for O’Callaghan (47), Kevin McManamon (0-01, 0-01f)for Scully (54), Sean Bugler for Costello (63)

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)