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Dubs can Tipp the balance

Dublin will hope to win their first minor title since 1965 when they face Tipperary in their highly anticipated Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship final replay at Croke Park tomorrow (1.15).

Three weeks ago, the Dubs required an injury-time free from Paul Winters to secure a deserved second shot at the Munster champions and they surprised many observers with the quality of their display, especially in a vibrant first-half showing.

They will need to replicate that showing tomorrow, with Cormac Costello's roving brief in the Dublin attack causing numerous headaches for the Tipperary rearguard while fellow dual player Conor McHugh's direct running was another positive feature in their enterprising performance.

Whether they will be allowed to influence as strongly tomorrow will depend on Tipperary's defence getting to grips with affairs far sooner than they managed last Sunday fortnight and Tomás Hamill's display at centre-back will be pivotal in that regard.



Swarming

The Premier's forward line will expect a far greater return than the 1-2 that they managed from play in the drawn match, in which the Dublin defence excelled in their swarming tactics, although those tactics were largely offset by the concession of 1-9 from placed balls.

Consequently, an improvement in discipline is essential for Dublin but not at the expense of the bravery epitomised by captain Cian O'Callaghan, who led his side courageously from full-back.

The Dubs could well have an advantage in the confidence that last week's football success has bestowed on their four dual players and it could well prove a driving force for Shay Boland's charges as the contest evolves.

In contrast, any perceived complacency, based on Tipp's more impressive run to the final, will surely have been eroded given the difficulties that the Premier experienced for large parts of the drawn game and they are expected to produce a more consistent display tomorrow.

However, Dublin proved their worth in the initial tie and if they can eke out a decent scoring return from their inside-forward line, they possess sufficient talent amongst their ranks to produce a positive outcome in what is likely to be another nerve-jangling tie.

Verdict: DUBLIN


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