Wednesday 26 October 2016

Dessie Dolan fears Leinster championship doomed as Dubs are too strong

Darragh Small

Published 31/12/2015 | 11:05

Jim Gavin and Stephen Cluxton
Jim Gavin and Stephen Cluxton

Former Westmeath All-Star Dessie Dolan fears the Leinster championship is doomed because Dublin are too strong.

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The reigning All-Ireland champions have only lost once in Leinster since 2005 – a shock 5-9 to 0-13 defeat to Meath in 2010 semi-final.

The Garrycastle clubman claimed his solitary provincial crown with his native county in 2004, before they lost to Derry in the quarter-final.

But since then Dublin have dominated Leinster, and with three U-21s and a minor All-Ireland in the last five years there is no end in sight.

They cruised to a record 54th Leinster title in 2015, with wins over Longford, Kildare, and Westmeath in the final. And racked up 11-56 without conceding a goal in the process.

“No one can beat Dublin. It is ten out of 11 Leinster titles now. Meath were traditionally the team that gave them a game, Kildare was a team who could do it as well. But after that I don’t know what is going to happen because they are dominating.

“No team is going to beat them for the next five years anyway. Most of their good players this year – Jack McCaffrey, Brian Fenton, Ciaran Kilkenny – these lads are only 21 and 22, so they are around for a long time.

“It is a powerhouse coming through. No one can deal with them at the minute,” he said.

This year Westmeath reached their first final since they claimed their one and only title in 2004.

But Dolan, who won his All Star that year, thinks they are miles off the pace and will continue to struggle unless the current structures are changed.

“The problem for Westmeath is they are in Leinster. Dublin are so dominant in our province that it makes it so difficult. We did well this year to beat Meath, that was a great victory – hopefully they can build on that. They are in Division 3 again, they need to get out of that.

“But there is an awful lot of counties at the one level. You need to look at the counties that aren’t competing at the level they need to be at.

“We need to distribute money, or coaching structures – anything that would make the playing field more level. There are four or five teams that are just leaving everyone in their wake.”

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