Thursday 14 December 2017

Cork clash in Croker could be a classic, says Deegan

Rory Kerr

DUBLIN selector, Mick Deegan, believes that Dublin fans can expect another cracker at Croke Park this Sunday when the Metropolitans take on Cork (throw in 4pm).

The Leesiders, who finished top of the league as a result of their resounding win over Kerry in Tralee on Sunday will be hoping to do the double over Dublin having edged them out by two points when the sides last met at the beginning of last month.

Daniel Goulding gave a virtuoso display of free-taking at GAA headquarters that night and Deegan believes that Dublin need to tidy up in that area if they are to retain their title.

'We conceded too many frees against them the last time out and the ball was moved up on a few occasions so we will be looking at that because their free taker won it for them the last day.'

Nonetheless Deegan is grateful to be given a second chance after Dublin overcame Tyrone courtesy of a late Diarmuid Connolly point on Sunday.

'We are where we want to be. We are in the semi final. We are delighted with that.

'It was always going to be tough to get a victory in what was a winner-takes-all game for both sides.'

Dublin hit Tyrone for three early goals with James McCarthy handing the visitors the perfect start with a terrifically taken goal twenty minutes into the game.

And while Jack McCaffrey has tended to grab the plaudits with his blinding runs from defence, Deegan believes McCarthy can be equally lethal in attack.

'We all know about Jack but James is a lad who flies over the ground without anyone even noticing it at times. So the two give us a great outlet from the half back line and cause other teams problems when they attack.'

Dublin had threatened to run away with the game in the early stages having hit the home side for three goals inside 16 minutes.

But Tyrone fought their way back into contention and Deegan believes there is room for improvement ahead of Sunday's big clash with the Rebels.

'Our aim was go at Tyrone through the centre and it worked out very well. The balls were laid off and the lads took their goal chances.

'We did lose our way in the middle of the park and it's an area we have to look at.

'And there were stages of the game when poor decision making and poor handling let us down as well.

'But it was one of the games were there was a swirling breeze and both teams played better against the wind

'Overall we are happy because it gives us a good competitive game against Cork.'

Fingal Independent

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