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U21s' classy midfield set to dampen Carlow fire


Aodhan Clabby. Picture: Sportsfile

Aodhan Clabby. Picture: Sportsfile

Aodhan Clabby. Picture: Sportsfile

DUBLIN will hope to take a first progressive step towards regaining their provincial title when they encounter Carlow in their Leinster U21 Hurling Championship quarter-final at Parnell Park this evening (7.30).

The Dubs suffered a surprise reverse to Laois at the corresponding stage 12 months ago, and that experience should stand the hosts in good stead against a Carlow side whose results in recent years have failed to reflect their improvements at underage level.

The visitors will also be helped by the number of panellists involved at senior level and Peter Shaw, Daryl Roberts and Paul Coady can all thrive in attack assuming Carlow can garner sufficient possession in open play.

Brian Treacy, David Galway, Gary Bennett, Ross Smithers and David Corcoran are others who have benefited from their inclusion at senior level, and that experience could well prove pivotal if the contest remains tight through the closing stages.



However, that seems unlikely to occur given the options that Dublin possess, despite the possible absence of seniors Danny Sutcliffe and Eamonn Dillon from the ranks, assuming Dublin's SHC replay with Wexford is given precedence.

The return of dual players Cormac Costello and Ciarán Kilkenny adds class and power to Dublin's line-up and how Costello combines with Glenn Whelan at centrefield could prove highly instrumental on the night.

In contrast to last year's truncated campaign under John Henderson, Dublin will benefit from a degree of continuity provided by Shay Boland's tenure as minor manager over the past two years and that familiarity can be hugely important at this grade.

Home advantage is another factor in Dublin's favour with the scoring threat of Kilkenny, Conor McHugh and Aodhán Clabby (pictured) likely to be sufficient to confirm a semi-final meeting with Wexford at the end of the month.

Verdict: DUBLIN