independent

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Dublin close in on Kerry's famous record

GAA

Rory Kerr

Dublin will have to storm the Kingdom itself this Saturday night, if they are to match Kerry's famous 34-match unbeaten run in league and championship set in the seventies.

Kerry were the last team to beat Dublin two years ago before Jim Gavin's side embarked on a remarkable run which saw them annex a four-in-a-row in the league and back-to-back All-Ireland titles last summer.

Needless to say, Dublin fans will travel down in big numbers for the St Patrick's weekend clash in a game that will also a have a big bearing on who contests this year's league decider.

Some fans will have been somewhat irked recently by a suggestion put forward by the Central CCC to county boards to delay throw-ins by half an hour to accommodate fans watching the Ireland v England international.

This was of course before Ireland's surprise defeat to Wales, and as such, next weekend's clash which had been previously billed as the Six Nations decider is less relevant.

In any case only Carlow chose to take heed of the Croke Park memo and it's business as usual as Dublin go head-to-head with the Kingdom in Tralee at 7pm.

Realistically it's a must-win game for Kerry. They trail Dublin by two points and while it wouldn't be the be-all and end-all, the Kingdom will be keen not to be a sideshow.

Tyrone's display against Dublin last month in Croke Park has meant that the Red Hand county are back in business and leading the table having been promoted from Division 2 last season.

Mickey Harte's side has been heralded as the team most likely to break Dublin's stranglehold in the two main competitions.

Kerry though have still to welcome back Kieran Donaghy (currently treading the boards with Tralee Warriors in the Mens Basketball Superleague) and Colm Cooper and the two may still have a big part to play by the end of summer.

Apart from a few shaky moments in that Tyrone game, Dublin have been motoring nicely, their twelve-point demolition of Mayo at the start of the month, moving them up to second place.

And with Paul Flynn, Diarmuid Connolly and Bernard Brogan all waiting in the wings, Gavin certainly boasts an embarrassment of riches as the Dubs look forward to another bumper year.

Meanwhile, the Dublin ladies under Mick Bohan will be eyeing up their fourth win as they prepare to take on bottom of the table Armagh in Abbotstown this Sunday.

The Jackies are locked in a three-way tie at the top with Cork and Galway but they will be hoping to cut out some of the defensive mistakes that were in evidence against Donegal at Parnell Park last month.

Fingal Independent

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