Updated: March 3rd, 2024

Allianz FL: Dublin take spoils at Celtic Park

Cormac Costello’s second half goal proved the crucial score as Dublin inflicted a first defeat of 2024 on Derry in front of 13,265 in Celtic Park.

Game Recap

By Michael Wilson (from GAA.ie)

Derry 1-11 Dublin 1-16

In terms of league need, Dublin’s was certainly the greater in a division where, before throw-in, only two points separated the second placed All Ireland champions from bottom of the table Monaghan. That fact was reflected in an opening half Dessie Farrell’s men dominated, even if they went into the break with only a two point advantage.

Dublin started in whirlwind fashion with Ciaran Kilkenny central to everything they did. He opened the scoring only 30 seconds in and when Lee Gannon was fouled two minutes later, last week’s hat-trick hero Con O’Callaghan stepped up to double the visitors’ lead.

Shane McGuigan opened Derry’s account, but the Oak Leafers were playing second fiddle. Kilkenny and McGuigan swapped points before a Ross McGarry score pushed the Dubs’ lead out to 0-4 to 0-2 by the 11th minute

Derry were staying touch, but only just as keeper Ryan Scullion was forced into a smart save to keep out a Paddy Small drive that looked bound for the net as points from O’Callaghan (f), Paddy Small and Kilkenny again had Farrell’s men in control at 0-7 to 0-3, 10 minutes before the break.

Momentum changed temporarily with Conor McCluskey’s 24th minute goal, the catalyst for which was a superb Scullion kick-out over the high Dublin press to find Eunan Mulholland. The Glen man accelerated up the right, moved the ball back inside where Cormac Murphy picked out McCluskey, who rifled home his second league goal of the season to bring the deficit back to one point.

Dublin replied with a lovely Brian Fenton point and another from Sean Bugler, before Emmet Bradley pointed in first half injury time for Derry.

Harte’s half-time response was emphatic, introducing Ethan Doherty, Eoin McEvoy and Paudie McGrogan while Paul Cassidy was also on within 11 minutes of the restart. And it did have an impact, McGuigan fisting over a point 34 seconds into the second half, but Dublin were able to respond through an O’Callaghan free at the other end.

Kilkenny and Lachlan Murray swapped two excellent scores and M<cGuigan almost brought Derry right back into the game when his audacious 55m chip had to be clawed away by David O’Hanlon following a lightning quick Derry break.

However, the Ulster champions were still two points adrift when Dublin struck what proved the killer blow which came courtesy of substitute Cormac Costello’s first touch. But if Costello was the executioner, the goal again owed everything to the work of Kilkenny who saw his goal-bound effort scrambled off the line by McEvoy, only for the ball to land perfectly for Costello to spin and shoot into the bottom corner.

At 1-12 to 1-6, the Dubs had a cushion they weren’t about to relinquish and Farrell’s men slipped into game management mode, seeing the game out with undue fuss as scores from Fenton, Lorcan O’Dell and and Lee Gannon added to their tally.
Shane McGuigan, who finished with 0-7, continued to keep the scoreboard ticking for the home side, but Derry rarely looked like bridging the gap after Costello’s major.

Teams and scorers

Scorers for Dublin: Ciarán Kilkenny 0-4, Cormac Costello 1-0, Brian Fenton and Con O’Callaghan (2fs) 0-3 each, Ross McGarry 0-2, Seán Bugler, Lorcan O’Dell, Lee Gannon, and Paddy Small 0-1 each.

Scorers for Derry: Shane McGuigan 0-7 (3fs), Conor McCluskey 1-0, Emmett Bradley, Lachlan Murray, Paul Cassidy, and Eoin McEvoy 0-1 each.

Dublin: David O’Hanlon; Sean McMahon, Brian Howard, Eoin Murchan; Cian Murphy, John Small, Lee Gannon; Brian Fenton, Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne; Ross McGarry, Sean Bugler, Ciaran Kilkenny; Paddy Small, Con O’Callaghan, Niall Scully
Subs: Tom Lahiff for Ó Cofaigh Byrne, HT; Cormac Costello for P Small, 50mins; Lorcan O’Dell for R McGarry, 55mins; Greg McEnaney for L Gannon, 68mins; Killian McGinnis for N Scully, 72mins.

Derry: Ryan Scullion; Conor McCluskey, Chrissy McKaigue, Diarmuid Baker; Shea Downey, Donncha Gilmore, Eunan Mulholland; Emmett Bradley, Brendan Rogers; Declan Cassidy, Ciaran McFaul, Niall Toner; Lachlan Murray, Shane McGuigan, Cormac Murphy.

Subs: Ethan Doherty for Eunan Mulholland, HT; Eoin McEvoy for C McKaigue, HT; Padraig McGrogan for S Downey, HT; Paul Cassidy for C Murphy, 46mins; Conleth McGuckian for L Murray, 58mins.

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)