Dublin totally overwhelmed Wexford in the second half of yesterday’s Leinster SFC final at Croke Park to claim their 48th provincial title.
At half-time the game was in the melting pot with the Dublin leading by three points, 0-10 to 0-7, and their had been no portents of what was to come in the second half. But from the restart the Dubs, with the midfield partnership of Ciaran Whelan and Shane Ryan dominant, put the foot to the floor as the movement and interplay of the Dublin forwards torn their opponents asunder.
Points from Tomas Quinn (two frees), Diarmuid Connolly and Conal Keaney (free) saw the boys in blue stretch ahead 0-13 to 0-7 inside the opening seven minutes of the restart and as they continued to hold the upperhand the Slaneysiders began to raise the ‘white flag’ and concede defeat in what was their first appearance in a Leinster decider since 1956.
The reigning Leinster champions, making it four in-a-row in front of a crowd of 80,112, moved further ahead with points from the impressive Jason Sherlock and Connolly put nine points between the sides and the game as a contest looked over.
Wexford, however, had come from ten points in arrears when heroically defeating Meath in the quarter-final but were not going to repeat that miracle on this occasion.
Connolly grabbed the first when Conal Keaney found Alan Brogan with a superb pass, the Dublin captain turned his marked before finding Connolly who took his time before picking his spot past keeper Anthony Masterson in the Wexford goal to make it 1-16 to 0-7.
Four minutes later the provider turned executor when Brogan fielded a high delivery from Barry Cahill and raced through on goal before applying the finish.
The hard-working Keaney added a point before sub Mark Vaughan grabbed the Dubs third goal shortly after his introduction to the play.
It took the Slaneysiders 26 minutes of the second half to score when Redmond Barry clipped over and at that stage a lot of their supporters were on their way home.
SCORERS: Dublin: C Keaney 0-6 (0-4f), D Connolly, A Brogan 1-3 each, T Quinn 0-5 (0-4f, 1 45), J Sherlock 0-3, M Vaughan 1-0, C Moran, B Cahill, S Ryan 0-1 each. Wexford: C Lyng 0-4 (0-4f), E Bradley, M Forde 0-2 each, R Barry 0-1.
DUBLIN: S Cluxton; D Henry, C Moran, P Griffin; K Nolan, B Cullen, B Cahill; C Whelan, S Ryan; C Keaney, J Sherlock, K Bonner; A Brogan, D Connolly, T Quinn. Subs: P Casey for Nolan (25), P Flynn for Bonner (57), M Vaughan for Connolly (58), R McConnell for Griffin (62), D Murray for Sherlock (65).
WEXFORD: A Masterson; B Malone, P Wallace, N Murphy; A Morrissey, D Murphy, C Morris; T Howlin, B Doyle; E Bradley, R Barry, A Flynn; C Lyng, PJ Banville, M Forde. Subs: P Colfer for Doyle (28), D Walsh for Murphy (32), R Stafford for Howlin (40), S Roche for Flynn (60), C Byrne for Banville (60).
Referee: G O Conamha (Galway).