Goals at the start of each half from Ciaran Archer and Lorcan O'Dell helped Dublin to a 13-point victory over Meath in the second of the Leinster U20FC semi-finals at Parnell Park this afternoon.
Tom Gray's charges were much too strong for the visitors as they set up a repeat of last year's final against Laois, who had six points to spare over Kildare last night. The holders got off to a flying start and led by 1-8 to 0-3 at the break before O'Dell's major two minutes after the restart ended the game as a contest.
Meath's hopes were dealt a major blow before the throw-in when star forward Shane Walsh - who has been named to play for the seniors against Kerry in Killarney tomorrow - was a notable absentee from their starting line-up. Archer, who was the only survivor from the Dublin team that started last year's All-Ireland final defeat to Cork, got the ball rolling with a second-minute goal which was supplemented by points from Luke Swan, Evan Caulfield, Kieran McKeon and Archer as the hosts stormed into a 1-4 to 0-0 lead inside seven minutes.
Luke Mitchell eventually got the Royals off the mark from a 13th minute free, but they played second fiddle for much of the half as the wind-assisted holders took an eight-point advantage into the interval.
O'Dell, who ran the show from centre forward, fired a low shot to the net at the start of the second half to underline Dublin's superiority. Meath had to wait until the 39th minute for their first point from play from Cian Rogers, who was then strangely taken off.
Archer would have had two more goals but for last-ditch blocks by Sean Brennan and Michael Gavin as the Dubs cruised home.
Dublin - J O’Neill; J Bannon, A Rafter, A Murphy; R Dwyer, A Waddick, L Gannon; K McGinnis, E Caulfield (0-3); M Lavin (0-2), L O’Dell (1-2), S Foran; C Archer (1-2), L Swan (0-1), K McKeon (0-2). Subs: P Purcell (0-2) for K McGinnis, A Fearon for E Caulfield, S Braiden O’Byrne for L Gannon, C Tyrrell for A Murphy, C Kinsella for A Rafter.
Meath - S Brennan; M Gavin, J O’Hare, B Wyer; C Hickey, L Byrne (0-1'45), M Murphy; J Flynn, D McGowan (0-1); M Costello (0-1), C Rogers (0-1), J O’Connor; J Morris (0-1f), L Mitchell (0-2f), A Lynch. Subs: C Farrelly for M Murphy, D Keating for C Rogers, P Matthews for J O’Connor, S Bannon for M Gavin.
Referee - J Hickey.Tweet