In the Allianz National Football League Division 2 championship final, Dublin defeated Ulster champions Derry with four goals in the second half to win their first trophy of 2023.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) April 2, 2023
With just four points after the first half and a deficit, Dublin roared ahead thanks to goals from Killian O’Gara, Paul Mannion, John Small, and Lorcan O’Dell. They came close to scoring more on multiple occasions. In their previous seven games, where they only managed to score five goals, this is a striking contrast.O’Gara’s fisted goal to open the second half’s scoring spree was followed by penalties from Mannion and Small, then two more spectacular goals from O’Dell and O’Gara. Conor Glass, an All-Star midfielder for Derry, was forced to leave the game due to what appeared to be a leg injury, which only made matters worse.
With their tremendous victory, Dublin is now ready to face either Wexford or Laois on April 23 in the Leinster SFC quarterfinal. In the meantime, Derry will try to recover when they play Division 3 champions Fermanagh on Saturday week to defend their provincial crown.
Both teams used counterattacking and strong pressing tactics to start the game, with Derry initially succeeding and taking an early lead of 0-4 to 0-1. However Dublin gradually gained momentum and briefly evened the score before consecutive Derry goals.But Dublin slowly built up momentum and briefly leveled the score before back-to-back Derry points gave them a 0-6 to 0-4 half-time lead.
The second half was a different story, with Dublin scoring goals in rapid succession and Derry finding it difficult to keep up. Conor McCluskey matched up against Dublin dangerman Con O’Callaghan throughout the game, and the two number eights, Glass and Brian Fenton, squared up in the middle third.
The first half of Dublin’s performance was full of squandered opportunities, but their outstanding second-half performance more than made up for it. They will attempt to improve on this performance in their forthcoming games because their goals served as a testimonial to their attacking power.