UNSURPRISINGLY by the interval the real damage was done. Even 28 minutes of that first half could be deemed to have been played out in garbage time. The issue was well and truly sealed by the seventh minute.
Longford were simply operating far from their comfort zone – and worse was to come in the closing stages. Dublin had the drive, depth, and desire to parade their greater strength and skill.
Not allowing the midlanders gain the encouragement a good start can bring Dublin simply scored early and often. Even when taking into account that Dublin spent their spring in Division One of the Allianz Football League and Longford had an albeit successful promotion winning stint in Division Four there was still a particularly nice cut to Jim Gavin's charges play.
Ready, willing, and able to transfer the ball through sharp kick passing the statistics accumulated by the break were both fierce and frightening.
Dublin reeled off 1-5 without reply in the first 420 seconds. That set the tone and tempo. Ciaran Kilkenny buzzed about craving involvement switching the point of attack with clever crossfield deliveries. Dean Rock slotted the frees and was a threat inside alongside Bernard Brogan.
From 10 opening period plays Brogan contributed four points, crafted another, and one effort led to a 45 which was converted by Rock.
Kevin McManamon remains the ultimate link man, capable of causing damage skipping between the lines. Backs are frequently unable to cope and Longford's stretched defensive unit was in deep distress throughout. McManamon's first half display was cool and classy. Sixteen plays were made by McManamon including one point and the final pass for 1-3. Diarmuid Connolly's goal also owed much to a McManamon kick pass which had flummoxed the midlanders.
Out the field Paul Flynn put in a trademark shift and his 12 possessions mattered too. Flynn scored 1-2 and created two other points in the first half. All these figures were accumulated before the break. After the restart the massacre continued.