Sunday 22 October 2017

Leinster desperate for rebirth of rivalry

Dublin dominance set to continue as Royals wear 'underdogs' tag

Michael Darragh MacAuley hits a shot during last year's Leinster final as Dublin won the title for the seventh time in eight years
Michael Darragh MacAuley hits a shot during last year's Leinster final as Dublin won the title for the seventh time in eight years
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Dublin's most prolonged spell of dominance in Leinster football looks set to continue in Croke Park tomorrow in front of what will be the biggest attendance of the 2013 championship so far.

Already their seven Leinster titles in the last eight years have elevated them, in provincial terms, above the achievements of the team of the 1970s which won six in a row from 1974 to 1979 before handing superiority over to Offaly for the next three years.

An eighth title in nine years before an expected crowd of just under 60,000 would extend their most concentrated sequence of success in Leinster for more than 100 years.

Never before in their long history of keen rivalry has a Dublin team gone into a match against Meath as such overwhelming favourites.

On the back of 16-point victories over both Westmeath and Kildare in their opening two matches, most bookmakers make Dublin between 1/12 and 1/14 favourites, with the handicap set between eight and nine points.

Meath and Dublin have met 59 times in Leinster championship matches, with Dublin emerging victorious in 32 of those matches. Meath have 19 wins to their credit with eight draws.

Dublin manager Jim Gavin named an unchanged side last night, with Eoghan O'Gara being kept in reserve after replacing Paddy Andrews against Kildare.

Meath manager Mick O'Dowd, the first manager in modern times to bring the county to a Leinster final in his first year in charge, has made just one change to the team that started against Wexford, with Mickey Burke restored to centre-back in place of Caoimhin King.

Irish Independent

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