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Dublin's Eric Lowndes. Picture: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Dublin's Eric Lowndes. Picture: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Dublin's Eric Lowndes. Picture: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

A HIGHLY-FANCIED Dublin side take their championship bow this evening in Carlow Institute of Technology (7.30) when they encounter Carlow in the Cadbury's Leinster U21 Football Championship quarter-final.

CADBURY LEINSTER U21FC FINAL

CARLOW v DUBLIN

(Carlow IT, Tonight, 7.30)

The Dubs will be looking to enjoy a more prolonged campaign this year following the disappointment of their defeat to Longford at the corresponding stage 12 months ago and manager Dessie Farrell would appear to have a strong hand to pick from.

Successive minor All-Ireland final appearances in 2011 (lost to Tipp) and 2012 (defeated Meath) when Farrell managed both teams has ensured a familiarity with that panel and both respective captains, namely Robbie McDaid and Davy Byrne line out in Dublin's full-back line.

FLANKED

Dublin's half-backline looks especially strong with John Small flanked by Eric Lowndes and Jack McCaffrey while Paddy O'Higgins is selected to partner senior panellist Shane Carthy at centrefield.

The positioning of Conor Mulally at wing-forward may raise an eyebrow or two but the versatility of the Cuala player is testimony to his improvement over the past two years while another surprise selection sees Michael Deegan chosen at full-forward, flanked by Conor McHugh and Cormac Costello.

Carlow will certainly be a different proposition this evening compared to the outfit that shipped a humiliating 4-27 to 0-2 defeat to Dublin in Parnell Park last year.

Home advantage will certainly aid their cause but the wealth of attacking options that Dublin possess should ensure a comfortable progression to the last four and an away meeting with the winner of the Laois/Longford quarter-final.

DUBLIN: L Molloy; R McGowan, D Byrne, R McDaid; E Lowndes, J Small, J McCaffrey, P O'Higgins, S Carthy; C Mullally, C Kilkenny, N Walsh; C McHugh, M Deegan, C Costello.

CARLOW: TBA


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