Dublin up it a gear to deny Offaly

 

Dublin 1-15 Offaly 0-09: In the end Dublin stepped it up a gear and out-muscled their opponents Offaly in a thrilling Leinster SFC final in front of a capacity crowd (81,754) on a balmy Sunday afternoon at Croke Park.

The Dubs retained their Leinster title for the first time in 10 years by winning 1-15 to 0-09 as they simply had too much in the tank for 14-man Offaly

Jason Sherlock, the only active player in the Paul Caffrey's squad with an All-Ireland medal, put the icing on the cake when he cracked home a 67th minute goal. It would be Dublin's 46th provincial title.

That said, Dublin didn't have it all their own way in the first period and the team went into the break locked at 0-06 apeice.

However, Dublin were quick out of the blocks scoring within 20 seconds of the restart and Mossie Quinn enjoyed a 0-07 personal tally as they raced into a 0-12 to 0-07 lead.

When Offaly midfielder Alan McNamee was dismissed for his second bookable offence after a 53rd minute clash with Coman Goggins, they simply had nothing more to offer.

"If it's going to be our year that's the type of performance we need," said Dublin captain Bryan Cullen after the game. "Credit to Offaly they asked serious questions but we dug deep to get a tremendous result."

"It was very satisfying to see the lads up it a gear, especially when we realised what was at stake out there today. It's a huge honour to play and captain the Dublin side."

"Right now we will enjoy this for a week or so then refocus and take it from there," added Cullen making reference to their prospective run to the Sam Maguire.

Dublin selector Dave Billings said he was "very, very proud of the Dublin side, especially to have retained the Leinster title for the first time in 10 years".

"Now the focus is on the All-Ireland Championship and we must build from this and go all the way."

"The lads simply kept working all day long and in the end they got their reward."