Sunday 20 October 2019

Jim Gavin defensive depth to be tested against Mayo as Diarmuid Connolly makes impressive return to action

Dublin manager Jim Gavin in conversation with Diarmuid Connolly during the 2017 GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match against Tyrone. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Dublin manager Jim Gavin in conversation with Diarmuid Connolly during the 2017 GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match against Tyrone. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Conor McKeon

Jim Gavin will be forced to dig deep into his defensive options for next Saturday’s Division 1 clash with Mayo.

Eric Lowndes is expected to miss the game in Croke Park with a shoulder injury, while John Small is suspended. Lowndes started all three of Dublin’s 2019 League matches but was replaced in at half-time in Tralee last weekend.

Gavin is currently low on established defensive options with Small – who suffered a hamstring injury during Ballymun Kickhams’ League defeat to Ballyboden St Enda’s yesterday - recommended for a two-match suspension arising out of the incident that sparked at the end of Dublin’s defeat to Kerry.

Philly McMahon is currently out with a broken bone in his wrist while Cian O’Sullivan has yet to play for Dublin this year.

Meanwhile, Diarmuid Connolly played his first competitive match since mid-October yesterday as St Vincent’s opened their AFL1 account with a 2-15 to 0-14 victory over Skerries Harps in Páirc Naomh Uinsionn.

Amid ongoing speculation about a return to the Dublin squad, Connolly kicked 0-4 from play in what marked his first competitive game since his appearance as a substitute in Vincent’s Dublin SFC semi-final loss to St Jude’s.

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