Saturday 29 April 2017

Eirgrid U-21 Championship: Farrell's Dubs set to march on

Leinster U-21 FC Semi-Final (Extra-time if necessary)
Dublin v Longford, Lakepoint Park, Mullingar, 7.30, N Ward (Westmeath)

Star-in-the-making Con O’Callaghan is expected to be on duty. Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Star-in-the-making Con O’Callaghan is expected to be on duty. Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Dessie Farrell's Dublin made light work of the Westmeath challenge last time out as they ran out handsome winners against a Lake County side who themselves had been gutsy when coming from behind to see off Meath in their opening fixture.

A shift in the fixtures that moved this game back a week means star-in-the-making Con O'Callaghan is expected to be on duty after winning an All-Ireland club hurling title with Cuala and he'll be a real threat having been one of the stand-out players in this grade last year.

But such is Dublin's array of options, it was Aaron Byrne's brace of goals that did the damage against Westmeath as the Dubs search for their fourth provincial title in a row at this grade.

Nigel Rabbite also grabbed two goals as Longford saw off a highly-fancied Kildare side last time out with a gutsy display and they'll need more of that this time around.

The Midlanders memorably dumped out a Dublin side containing the likes of current senior stars, Jack McCaffrey and Ciaran Kilkenny, back in 2013 and can take heart from that, but the Dubs can call on several of the team that were edged out by eventual champions Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final last year, so this is a big ask.

Odds: Dublin 3/10 Longford 3/1 Draw 9/1

Verdict: Dublin

Irish Independent

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