Con O’Callaghan’s 1-7 drives Dublin past Meath

U21 quarter-final round-up: Kildare and Westmeath also book semi-final spots

Dublin 1-12 Meath 0-9

Manager Dessie Farrell described Cuala's Con O'Callaghan as a key performer after his 1-7 haul helped book Dublin's EirGrid Leinster Under-21 football championship semi-final spot.

Dublin senior O’Callaghan was a class apart at Parnell Park where Dublin piled the misery on luckless Meath and set up a date with Laois or Wicklow.

Meath are struggling at senior level and hoped for a win over the three-in-a-row title chasers.


But it never looked like materialising and O’Callaghan’s goal in first-half injury-time put Dessie Farrell’s side into a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Dublin finished the game with just 13 players while Meath lost a man to a red card also, though all were for second cautions and it was a generally good spirited game.

“Con’s a good young player for sure with a great attitude,” said Farrell. “It’s a lovely age group to work with and Con is definitely one of those players you enjoy working with.”

Dublin led 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time thanks largely to O’Callaghan’s 1-3 haul. They took 16 minutes before scoring again after the restart but three points in a row including two from O’Callaghan eased them clear.

Dublin lost defender Martin Cahilan and midfielder Killian Deeley to second yellow cards during the second half while Ronan Jones was dismissed for Meath for a second booking also.

DUBLIN: L Molloy; E Smith, S McMahon, D Bolger; M Cahilan, B Howard (0-1), K O'Shea; A Foley, K Deeley; T Lahiff, C O'Callaghan (1-7, three frees), G O'Reilly; M Deegan (0-1), A Byrne (0-2), D Spillane (0-1).

Subs: O Lynch for Deegan (40 mins), K Doherty for Foley 43 (mins), A McGowan for O'Reilly 48 (mins), C Sallier for Spillane 51 (mins).

MEATH: J Lynch; M Flood, D O'Neill, J Reilly; G McGowan, T McGovern, N Kane; D Ryan, R Jones; K Ryan, J McEntee (0-1), S Byrne; J Wallace, R O Coileain (0-2), D Rowe (0-5, four frees).

Subs: C Halligan (0-1) for Wallace (13 mins), K Traynor for McGowan (39 mins), B Duggan for Byrne (46 mins), N O'Reilly for Ryan (48 mins), J McCarney for O'Neill (55 mins), S Meade for Kane (58 mins).

Referee: B Cawley (Kildare).

Kildare 2-14 Offaly 1-6

Last year’s runners-up Kildare scored the last eight points to book their place in the semi-finals at Hawkfield.

Goals in either half by Chris Healy and Cein McMonagle put Kildare in charge before Offaly got back to within three points but Kildare pulled clear in the final quarter.

Despite playing into a strong wind during the first half, Kildare led 1-4 to 0-4 at the half-time following an excellent goal by Chris Healy in the final minute before the break. Neil Flynn delivered an excellent ball into Healy and he turned away from James Lalor before shooting into the Offaly net.

Conor Hartley and Ben McCormack struck points in the second half either side of McMonagle's 39th-minute goal, just 30 seconds after coming on as substitute, to put Kildare eight points clear.

Offaly responded well though and points from Ruairi McNamee and Shane Tierney was followed by a 45th-minute Gio Russo goal.

That looked like setting up a grandstand finale but instead, Kildare took complete control.

Ryan Houlihan, McCormack, Luke and Neil Flynn and Hartley all scored fine points in the final stages to round off an impressive win for Bryan Murphy's team.

KILDARE: D Campbell; E Bateman, D Maguire, P Mescal; R Houlihan (0-1), S Ryan, B Byrne; L Flynn (0-2), P Connell; C Hartley (0-2), B Kelly, M Sherry; B McCormack (0-2), C Healy (1-2), N Flynn 0-5 (two frees, one 45).

Subs: C Kavanagh for Sherry (33 mins, BC); C McMonagle (1-0) for Kelly (38 mins); R Feely for L Flynn (52 mins); C Scanlon for Healy (57 mins); M Hyland for Ryan (58 mins); J Costello for Houlihan (60 mins).

OFFALY: J Colgan; D Dempsey, J Lalor, C Doyle; A Mahon (0-1), D Byrne, D O'Toole; O Cusack, R McEvoy; C Farrell, R McNamee (0-2), J Evans; J Walsh (0-1), A McDonnell, S Tierney (0-2, one free).

Subs: G Russo (1-0) for McDonnell (16 mins, BC); G Hutichon for O'Toole (50 mins); PJ Daly for McEvoy (57 mins); C Horan for Lalor (59 mins); J Lowry for Tierney (59 mins); A Heffernan for Farrell (60 mins).

Referee: S Mulhare (Laois)

Wexford 0-7 Westmeath 1-5

Wing back Daire Conway proved his side's match-winner as he kicked the crucial point one minute from the end to edge Westmeath to victory over Wexford in an quarter-final in Enniscorthy.

A gale-force wind made conditions difficult for both sides but there was plenty of good football on show in an exciting 60 minutes of football. Given the conditions the forwards struggled for scores with the result it was always a game that was going to go right down to the wire.

Westmeath had first advantage of the wind but found it difficult to break down the home defence. After Paddy Fagan had opened the midlanders' account with a third-minute point they had to wait until the 11th minute for their next score.

That was a rather fortuitous goal after midfielder Sam Duncan floated a high ball in from midfield. Wexford goalkeeper Ben Turner hesitated in advancing, leaving Fagan to react quickest to punch high into the roof of the net giving his side a 1-1 to 0-0 lead.

Wexford's opening score arrived after 17 minutes through a Donal Shanley pointed free. Darren Giles responded with a point but two further Shanley points left just two points separating the sides, 1-2 to 0-3 at the interval.

Two Shanley pointed frees had Wexford level within five minutes of the restart, but Westmeath never panicked, with Jack Quinn lifting the siege with a point.

The sides were still deadlocked 1-4 to 0-7 as the game entered the closing minutes after a Jamie Carty long point, but in the final minute it was Conway who stepped forward after the Wexford defence failed to clear a free to kick what proved the match-winning point.

WEXFORD: B Turner; D Barden (0-1), J Rossiter, R Vallejo; S Doyle, N Rossiter, S Donohoe; N Hughes, T Byrne; E Nolan, I Carty, B Power; D Shanley (0-5, four frees), E Roche, S Ryan.

Subs: J Carty (0-1) for Roche; T Bowler for Byrne; J Stafford for Power.

WESTMEATH: K Fagan; R Wallace, I Ilunga, L Sayeh; G Murray, A McCormack, D Conway (0-1); A McGivney, S Duncan; S Corcoran, R Cunningham, T Watts; D Giles (0-1, free), N Mitchell, P Fagan (1-1).

Subs: R O'Toole for McGivney; J Quinn (0-1) for Mitchell; R Hickey (0-1) for Corcoran.

Referee: D Moore (Laois).