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Top marks for minor marvels

DUBLIN’S minor marvels are heading for the exam hall. They have already got top marks on the pitch. They have another Leinster title in the wallet.

Now the assignment is to go one better than last year when they reached the All-Ireland final, losing to Cork in Birr.

They’ll certainly give it their very best. Conor Barry is the manager. His colleagues are Mick Neville, Paul O’Donovan, Joan Kehoe and Bobby McNulty. Ciara Black is the physio.

They are a very well organised unit. And they have a very talented and committed group of players. The Leinster final in Clane proved that.

Dublin dazzled in the Kildare sunshine. They won handsomely. Yet Westmeath are a fine side in their own right.

The Dubs just put every ounce of effort into the hour. From deep defence to the industrious forward-line, who were the first line of defence.

When you have a team with that attitude, you always have a chance. Little things set the tempo. A brilliant block from the captain, Aoife Curran. Muireann Ni Scanaill taking the ball from the clouds. The excellence of full-forward, Leah Mullins, the ideal target-woman.

The mighty Lauren Magee bursting forward, the sweet finishing of Katie Murphy. It’s all in there. But the best thing of all is that everybody is tuned in to the One Direction.