Dublin retained the National Football League title for the first time in their history yesterday with a stunning 3-19 to 1-10 victory over Derry in the Division One final at Croke Park.
The All-Ireland champions dominated the game from the start, and Derry were simply no match for Dublin’s blend of power and pace.
Jim Gavin’s side led by seven at half-time following a blistering first-half performance, and they continued to dominate after the restart, with their forwards having a field day against a Derry defence that simply couldn’t cope.
Man of the Match Bernard Brogan scored 1-6 and Kevin McManamon also found the net in the second half, while Diarmuid Connolly cracked in a third goal towards the end as Dublin ran riot.
Derry, to their credit, kept battling and they did manage to create a lot of goal chances.
That was the only major blot on the Dublin copybook - Derry got in behind their defence on a number of occasions, and apart from Cailean O’Boyle’s early goal, could have had two or three others, had their finishing been a little sharper.
In the Division Two final, Monaghan produced a very professional performance to beat Donegal 1-16 to 1-10.
Malachy O’Rourke’s side continued their upward curve against Donegal, and took control of the game at the end of the first quarter, never really giving it back.
They led by three at half-time, and although Michael Murphy’s penalty gave Donegal hope early in the second half, Monaghan responded well and a goal from Kieran Hughes with 15 minutes to go more or less settled the game.
The sending off of Rory Kavanagh early in the second half had turned the game in Monaghan’s favour anyway, but they still played some wonderful football in the second half.
Division One: Dublin 3-19 Derry 1-10
Division Two: Monaghan 1-16 Donegal 1-10