Sport Hurling

Saturday 19 August 2017

Dubs to come unstuck against awesome Tipp

Dublin v Tipperary, Croke Park, 3.30,

C McAllister (Cork) *Live RTE 2

The announcement email of the Tipperary team on Thursday was, no doubt, technically correct for programme purposes in stating that there was one positional switch from the Munster final, involving Noel McGrath and Seamus Callanan swopping places in the half-forward line.

In real terms, it will make no difference whatsoever because there's constant interchanging amongst a Tipp attack designed to use their pace and versatility to unhinge defences.

It has worked pretty spectacularly, too, (Tipp have scored between three and seven goals in each of their last six championship games), leaving Dublin facing a real challenge.

Anthony Daly and Co will, no doubt, have worked out some strategy in an effort to curb Tipperary's remarkably high scoring rate, as it's an absolute essential if Dublin are to have even the remotest chance of upsetting their 9/1 outsiders' rating.

Despite the odds, Dublin are well equipped to offer Tipp a tougher challenge than they encountered in Munster.

Dublin are a strong, forceful side, under-pinned by the ultimate in fitness levels.

They have improved dramatically this year and, after losing only two games all year, confidence levels are high. And as captain Johnny McCaffrey said this week, the one thing they can influence is possession.

That's very sensible and since Dublin have the physique to match Tipperary in most of the head-to-head battles, they can expect to win quite an amount of possession.

But that's probably where the wavelengths divide. For while Dublin's score-to-chance ratio has risen this season, it's still nowhere nearly as high as the awesome levels reached by Tipp.

That will be the most significant difference as Tipp seal the deal for a third successive All-Ireland final against Kilkenny.

2011 C'ship: Dublin 2-21 Offaly 1-20; Dublin 0-19 Galway 2-7; Kilkenny 4-17 Dublin 1-15; Dublin 3-13 Limerick 0-18.

Tipperary 3-22 Cork 0-23; Tipperary 4-19 Clare 1-19; Tipperary 7-19 Waterford 0-19.

Last C'ship clash: Tipperary 1-20 Dublin 1-11, (2007 All-Ireland qualifier)

Odds: Tipperary 1/16; Dublin 9/1; Draw 20/1.

Verdict: Tipperary

Tipperary -- B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill; J O'Keeffe, C O'Mahony, Padraic Maher; G Ryan, S McGrath; N McGrath, S Callanan, Patrick Maher; E Kelly, J O'Brien, L Corbett.

DUBLIN -- G Maguire; N Corcoran, P Kelly, P Schutte; M Carton, J Boland, S Durkin; J McCaffrey, A McCrabbe; C McCormack, R O'Dwyer, L Rushe; D O'Callaghan, L Ryan, P Ryan.

Martin Breheny

Irish Independent

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