Dublin 2-14 Meath 0-07

Goals from Luke Swan and Lorcan O'Dell helped return Dublin to the EirGrid Leinster U20 football final, keeping the holders on course for back-to-back titles.

With Laois already through to the 6 March final after Friday night's win over Kildare, the Dubs did their part with ease, leading by eight points at half-time and cantering from there to a surprisingly easy win.

Former minor star Swan struck his goal in the third minute and O'Dell's second for Dublin early in the second-half effectively sunk Meath who trailed by 11 points at that stage.

It's the third game running that Dublin have clocked up a double-digits winning margin in the U-20 campaign following 10-point wins over Wicklow and Longford.

They were full value for this 13-point win with star man Ciaran Archer on the mark again, scoring 0-02 and going close with two goal chances. 

Meath came into the contest as underdogs and were further rocked by the absence of talisman and full-forward Shane Walsh due to injury.

The big Na Fianna forward has been named to play for the Meath seniors against Kerry in Killarney tomorrow but presumably will miss that Allianz League contest too.

Luke Mitchell came into Ger Robinson's team in place of Walsh and hit Meath's first point from a free in the 13th minute.

By that stage, Dublin had already put 1-04 on the board as they capitalised on the wind at their back to lay siege to the Meath goals in the opening quarter.

In fact, with 25 minutes on the clock, Dublin had created 15 scoring chances, scoring 1-06 in that period and blasting eight wides.

Swan grabbed their goal in the third minute when O'Dell, a goalscorer in the home win over Longford last weekend, chipped over the top to Archer whose shot was only partially blocked, allowing Swan to tap in from close range.

Michael Gavin of Meath is tackled by Kieran McKeon and Lorcan O'Dell

Archer scored his first point in the eighth minute to put Dublin into that 1-04 to 0-00 lead.

It was painful viewing for Meath supporters who made the short journey up the M3 with the visitors failing to score from play in the first-half.

Mitchell, Liam Byrne and Jordan Morris struck all of their points in that period from placed balls with Dublin reeling off four points in a row between the 20th and 28th minutes to lead 1-08 to 0-03 at half-time.

Meath at least had the wind advantage in the second-half and the knowledge that they'd come from behind to overcome Wexford in the quarter-finals last Saturday.

Whilst Meath's scores had all come from placed balls in the opening half, Dublin's all arrived from play and it remained that way with Dublin not scoring a single point from a free or 45.

Meath needed a lift after the break but received a kick in the teeth when Dublin restarted with a 1-01 blast in the 33rd minute.

O'Dell got Dublin's second when he skipped through the centre of the Meath defence and slid a low, composed shot beneath the 'keeper.

The excellent Evan Caulfield added a point moments later and with a 2-09 to 0-03 lead, Dublin were at their ease for the remainder of the contest.

Boss Gray ran in his full allocation of subs with Padraig Purcell, who impressed coming on against Longford, looking lively again and scoring 0-02.

Dublin: Josh O'Neill; Alan Murphy, Adam Rafter, Josh Bannon; Rory Dwyer, Adam Waddick, Lee Gannon; Killian McGinnis, Evan Caulfield (0-03); Mark Lavin (0-02), Lorcan O'Dell (1-02), Sean Foran; Luke Swan (1-01), Ciaran Archer (0-02), Kieran McKeon (0-02).

Subs: Padraig Purcell (0-02) for Foran (41), Adam Fearon for Caulfield (48), Conor Kinsella for Gannon (53), Stephen Braiden O'Byrne for Lavin (53),  Conor Tyrrell for Murphy (57).

Meath: Sean Brennan; Ben Wyer, James O'Hare, Michael Gavin; Cathal Hickey, Liam Byrne (0-01, 0-01 45), Michael Murphy; Jack Flynn, Daithi McGowan (0-01); Mathew Costello (0-01), Aaron Lynch, Jack O'Connor; Jordan Morris (0-01, 0-01f), Luke Mitchell (0-02, 0-02f), Cian Rogers (0-01).

Subs: Conor Farrelly for Murphy (35), Dylan Keating for Rogers (40), Barry O'Connell for Lynch (48), Paddy Matthews for O'Connor (54), Sean Bannon for Gavin (57).

Referee: John Hickey (Carlow).