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Friday 19 September 2014

Hungrier Dublin likely to end ladies championship

Donal Barry

Published 20/08/2014 | 05:36

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Kerry look to try and make it five All-Ireland semi-final appearances in five years next Saturday with a re-invigorated Dublin standing in the way of the Kerry girls.

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Both teams head into the game on very different performance curves with Dublin unbeaten in three games looking hugely impressive while Kerry have struggled somewhat with wins over Clare and Donegal to date.

The Leinster champions will take the favourites tag with them but will not have played a team with the experience of Kerry to date and know that the last time Kerry came in as underdogs in 2012, it was the Kingdom that prevailed by the narrowest of margins.

Much has changed from that Dublin team as only 5 of the players that featured that day will make the starting fifteen this time out as Gregory McGonigle is happy to keep faith with his young guns who have ran up very impressive score lines. Indeed since McGonigle has taken over the reins he has already delivered them to a first league final and despite their loss to Cork in that final much has been learned by the "Manchester United" of the ladies world. This season's sponsorship deal with AIG has delivered Dublin and McGonigle certain advantages that most counties can only dream of. This however has brought an added pressure to succeed and a Dublin loss is something that is not being entertained by them.

His counterpart William O'Sullivan in his fifth season in charge will also be under some pressure as Kerry have spluttered through the campaign like a car with dirty petrol. They started with an impressive performance against Cork in Paric Ui Rinn and despite a good win over Clare; it was their defeat to Cork in the Munster final that put the team under the spotlight.

A win after extra time over Donegal did little to shake the doubters especially with the first 25 minutes being played in a very defensive manner.

However, Kerry have all the tools needed to defeat Dublin but it will remain to be seen if they can regain some of the form that produced some sparkling performances like they did in the league earlier in the year.

Kerry will need the many average individual performances to date to be upped and this alone may not be enough to deal with an exceptionally hungry Dublin side

Verdict: Dublin

Kerryman

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