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Published: 18:47 | 26/6/16

Dublin book Leinster final spot

Dublin remain on course for a sixth consecutive Leinster SFC title after a comfortable 0-21 to 0-11 win over Meath in Sunday's provincial semi-final at Croke Park.

Meath provided the reigning All-Ireland champions with a stern test in the opening half but Dublin looked to have plenty in reserve and the outscored their rivals by 0-10 to 0-3 after the break to easy their way into the provincial decider on July 17.

The Royals started brightly and point from Graham Reilly and Cillian O'Sullivan helped them into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after nine minutes.

Dublin responded with three points in a row, including two from Dean Rock, to take the lead but Mickey Newman found the target with a superb free outside the 45-metre line to level things up.

Rock scored his third of the game on 19 minutes before Dublin stretched their lead thanks to quickfire points from Paul Flynn and Bernard Brogan, only for Newman to reduce the deficit with another fine free.

Newman added another free just three minutes later after Diarmuid Connolly had got his name on the scoresheet and he did not have to wait long for his second as Dublin began to take control of the semi-final.

Meath, however, managed to stay in touch with Jim Gavin's side with Eamonn Wallace reducing the gap to two before the two sides exchanged points - Rock for Dublin and O'Sullian for the Royals - and with half-time approaching Flynn made it 0-11 to 0-8.

The Royals had the opportunity to put pressure on their old rivals early in the second half but Newman failed to fit the target on two occasions and Dublin made them pay with Rock adding four more and Brogan scoring his third to put the defending champions 0-16 to 0-9 ahead.

Dublin dominated for the last 20 minutes and they deservedly increased through lead through points from Rock, Connolly and Paul Mannion. Although Reilly and Ronan Jones scored for Meath it was not enough to stop Dublin marching on to another provincial decider.

Westmeath produced another remarkable comeback to beat Kildare by 1-12 to 1-11 in a tight encounter in the earlier match at headquarters.

Having overturned a 10-point deficit on their way to beating Meath at this stage last year, Tim Cribbin’s side came from six points back to get past the Lilywhites.

James Dolan's goal on 47 minutes capped off a run of six points without reply to haul Westmeath back on terms.

The Lake County then pulled three points clear late on before a pair of converted frees courtesy of the boot of Neil Flynn cut the deficit to just a single point.

However, Westmeath held on and they will face either Dublin or Meath in the provincial decider next month.

The victory was only Westmeath’s second ever over Kildare in Championship history, their first in 46 years.

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