Friday 15 December 2017


Stephen Cluxton: Tipped a Stephen Bray howitzer over the bar in the second half but couldn't get near Mickey Newman's goal. Found a Dublin player with 20 of his 24 kick outs, slightly above his own sky-high average. RATING 8

Philly McMahon: Can feel hard done by late on when Stephen Bray - with whom McMahon appeared to have a half-time altercation - appeared to land a punch, only to receive a yellow card. Took Graham Reilly early on, Meath's first man off. RATING 7

Rory O'Carroll: Took up arms against Dalton McDonagh and comprehensively won that individual battle. Strong under high ball and typically ambitious with his distribution in possession. RATING 8

Mick FItzsimons: Hasn't had much of a look-in since Jim Gavin took over but was entrusted with marking Stephen Bray, Dublin's beit noire in the past. Kept him to two points in a masterful exhibition of man-marking. RATING 8

James McCarthy: A solid contribution from Dublin's Mr. Consistency. Took Damien Carroll, a man inspired last day out against Kildare and put him on the back foot instantly with those mazy runs. Threatened to open Meath up a couple of times himself. RATING 8

Nicky Devereux: Picked up Mickey Newman, who looked barely fit, and capitalised, bursting upfield at his leisure. Almost cost Dublin a first half goal in waiting for a Stephen Cluxton pass to cone to him. RATING 7

Jack McCaffrey: Restored to wing-back for what was his first Championship start of the summer and presented a typical Jack McCaffrey performance. Attacked powerfully, kicked a point and set up two clear goal chances. RATING 8

Michael Darragh Macauley: The most effective footballer in Ireland? After yesterday's display, it's hard to argue. Resisted plenty of Meath attempts to get under his skin too. RATING 9

Cian O'Sullivan: Silently effective. Kicked one first half point at an acute angle but took advantage throughout of Shane O'Rourke's lack of mobility to ghost into space, particularly on Cluxton's kick outs. Caught seven by our calculations. RATING 8

Paul Flynn: Less involved than he has been for either of Dublin's two previous games but as ever, finished the game as the same hectic pace with which he started. Will be disappointed with his haul of solitary point. RATING 7

Kevin McManamon: Made a lie of the theory that he's more effective off the bench. Torched poor Pádraic Harnan in the first half. Scored 1-5 from play and hit the crossbar in the move that led to Bernard Brogan's goal. A certainty to start now come quarter-final time. RATING 9

Diarmuid Connolly: Not his finest work. Scored a point but missed two frees and dropped two balls short into Paddy O'Rourke's hands. Declined to shake the Meath goalkeeper's hand during the pre-match 'respect' formalities. RATING 6

Paul Mannion:Possibly unlucky to make way at half-time. Played a direct assisting role in three Dublin first half points and won more ball off Kevin Reilly than vice versa. RATING 6

Alan Brogan: Would almost certainly have scored Dublin's first goal had his brother not been that bit snappier. Kicked one himself and generally, roamed around Croke Park unhindered by Meath attention. RATING 8

Bernard Brogan: Not at his brilliant best but still kicked 1-2 from play off Meath's best man marker, Donal Keogan. One wide but kicked all four of his frees. Just as importantly, displayed no signs of the hamstring trouble that ruled him out of the Wexford match. RATING 8


Cormac Costello: Kicked a point but almost scored a wonder goal after starting the move 40 yards further back. RATING 6

Dean Rock: Quite how he missed that goal chance laid on a plate by Kevin McManamon is a mystery but took a point and won a kick out. RATING: 7

Eoghan O'Gara: Had only one thing on his mind from the moment he came on. Scored a goal, hit one wide and set up two two goal scoring chances passed up by team mates. RATING 8

Darren Daly: Shored up a defence leaking a couple of late, if ultimately irrelevant socres. RATING: 6

Denis Bastick/ Tomás Brady: Neither on long enough to do much right or wrong. RATING 6


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