Friday 19 April 2019

All or nothing for Tyrone in Dublin clash


Rory Kerr

All the talk last week - and for quite some considerable time before that - was about Brexit.

From the GAA's points of view, the possibility of a no-deal and the knock-on effect of a hard border could seriously impact on its games, particularly up north where fans could could be delayed considerably in their journey times to matches down south.

How many Tyrone fans will be make the brave journey for Saturday's 7pm throw in with Dublin remains open to question, though.

Dublin, after a jittery start which saw them lose their opening two games to Monaghan and Kerry, have now regained their momentum to sit second in the table.

As such they remain on course for a seventh consecutive league final appearance under Jim Gavin.

Admittedly, their fifth-round win over Roscommon in Hyde Park last Sunday week was a hard-fought one to say the least.

Strikes in each half from Con O'Callaghan and Dean Rock were goals you might have seen at Dalymount Park, but Gavin won't have minded.

Slowly but surely the team is coming together again, with All-Ireland-winning captain Stephen Cluxton starting for the first time this season against the Rossies.

Saturday should see Dublin repeat their All-Ireland final win over Mickey Harte's men.

Just a point behind behind Dublin in the league, a win for Tyrone at the weekend would leave them with a good chance of making next month's decider, but the omens are not good.

In Dublin's 33 league games in the capital since 2011 they have registered 49 goals and 467 points.

Tyrone will need more accuracy off their set pieces, given what happened last August when a series of misplaced kickouts from keeper Niall Morgan would ultimately prove their undoing in their bid for a fourth All-Ireland title.

Meanwhile, Dublin hurlers will be put to the test this coming weekend when they take on Tipperary in the league quarter-finals. Details of the time and venue had yet to be confirmed at the time of going to press.

Dublin ladies may well go down the experimental route when they take on bottom-of-the-table Monaghan this Saturday.

The Jackies, currently lying in third place, will be short odds to claim maximum points and manager Mick Bohan may use the game to rest some of his big name star ahead of their remaining games with Cork and Galway, both of whom are also chasing a place in the decider along with current leaders Donegal.

Fingal Independent