Dublin had no trouble unpicking an understrength Galway at chilly Croke Park, coasting to a 1-15 to 0-7 victory.
Attacking the Hill in the first half, the Tribe slotted the first two points through Cillian McDaid and Peter Cooke and they gave as good as they got for most of the opening period, retiring just a point adrift, 0-6 to 0-5. But that was as good as it got for Kevin Walsh’s men, who looked on helplessly as the holders added nine second-half points and a 57th-minute Dean Rock goal to pick up their first win of the campaign.
Rock finished the night with 1-5 behind his name in brackets but was pipped to the Man of the Match gong by the outstanding Cormac Costello, supplier of six points, five from play and one from a free following an advanced mark.
Debutants Liam Flatman and Sean Bugler were late additions to the Dublin starting XV, while midfielder Darren Gavin was also sprung from the bench for his league debut as Jim Gavin’s men repeated their 2018 league final and All-Ireland semi-final wins over tonight’s opponents.
Despite being short a number of regulars due to injuries and club commitments, the visitors led by three points to one at the end of the opening quarter and weren't behind until Rock stroked over his second free on 30 minutes but, in front of 14,502 freezing spectators, they struggled to make any sort of headway the more the game went on as, retreating deeper and deeper, the Dubs working them out and swinging over scores almost at will.
The winners notched five of the first six points after the restart courtesy of Paul Mannion, Rock (2) and Costello (2) and it was done and dusted when Rock fired to the net to leave eight points between the teams.
Dublin - E Comerford; E Lowndes, M Fitzsimons, L Flatman; E Murchan, J Cooper, J Small; J McCarthy, B Fenton; N Scully (0-1m), C Costello (0-6, 1m), S Bugler (0-1); R Basquel, P Mannion (0-2), D Rock (1-5, 0-3f). Subs: B Howard for R Basquel, P Flynn for S Bugler, J McCaffrey for J Small, D Gavin for J McCarthy, C McHugh for P Mannion.
Galway - M Breathnach; S Kelly, S A O Ceallaigh, E Kerin; G O'Donnell, G Bradshaw, J Heaney (0-1); K Duggan, T Flynn; C McDaid (0-2), J Duane, P Cooke (0-2); P Cunningham, C Darcy, S Walsh (0-1f). Subs: B McHugh (0-1f) for C McDaid, F Cooney for C Darcy, D Cummins for P Cunningham, G Armstrong for P Cooke, D Cunnane for S A O Ceallaigh.
Referee - C Branagan.Tweet