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Dublin andGalway setto sparklein Cusack

IT'S Dublin's first TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final since 2010.

They went the distance that year, beating Tyrone in the final.

The Jackies stormed through the province this summer. No team could live with the poise and the pace of the Leinster Express.

And last week, they had five points to spare over Kerry in the Birr quarter-final.

The Dubs dominated the early passages of that game. But Kerry responded with gusto in the second half.

Yet Dublin's defence coped with the increased pressure, giving ample protection to Cliodhna O'Connor's front porch.

Dublin's two goals from Niamh McEvoy and Noelle Healy proved telling. As did the eight point contribution of Sinead Aherne.

The boss-man, Gregory McGonigle, has gone for the same starting 15 to face Galway.

Many predicted that the team he last managed, Monaghan, would provide the semi-final opposition.

But Galway defeated them on last Saturday's Birr double-bill.

They had notable donations from Emer Flaherty, Nicola Ward, Annette Clarke and Louise Ward.

And they underlined the strength of their bench when Tracy Leonard and Olivia Divilly came on to make a major impact.

Galway beat the Dubs to lift their only title in 2004, and mentors, Kevin Reidy and Martina Cummins couldn't have asked for anymore from the squad against Monaghan.

Like Kerry, Galway will ask Dublin some serious questions. Cork or Armagh will await the winners on the red carpet.

Verdict: Dublin


(Today, Cusack Park, Mullingar (3.15) Live TG4)