Wednesday 21 August 2019

Jim Gavin names Dublin team to face Meath in Leinster final

Con O'Callaghan of Dublin in action against Mick O'Grady of Kildare
Con O'Callaghan of Dublin in action against Mick O'Grady of Kildare

Harry Clarke

Jim Gavin has named his starting 15 for Dublin's Leinster SFC final clash against Meath at Croke Park today.

Stephen Cluxton takes his place in goal behind David Byrne, Michael Fitzsimons and Jack McCaffrey with James McCarthy, Cian O'Sullivan and John Small in the half-back line.

Brian Fenton and Michael Darragh Macauley pair up in the middle of the park with Niall Scully, Cormac Costello and Brian Howard lining out at half forward.

Ciaran Kilkenny, Paul Mannion and Con O'Callaghan complete the 15 who are bidding to win an unprecedented nine Leinster titles in a row.

 

Leinster SFC final

Dublin v Meath

Croke Park, 4.0 (RTE2)

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Pessimism in Meath seems difficult to uproot, despite having reached a first provincial final in five years and earning promotion to Division 1 earlier in the year. The value of that overdue promotion was tempered a little when Donegal got to grips with them in Croke Park in the final. And the heavy-legged showing in Navan against Offaly did little to sway those doubtful of Meath’s prospects of becoming a serious challenger in the province. Since then, they have recovered well, delivering big wins over Carlow and Laois, but the standard of opposition needs to be considered.

In 2014 they suffered a 3-20 to 1-10 loss to Dublin in the final, and were beaten by Dublin in 2016 by 11 points in the semi-final, which is now considered a respectable loss in that company. Today Dublin close in on a 14th provincial title win in 15 seasons, the aberration being Meath’s win in 2010 in the semi-final when scoring five goals. The final is struggling to tickle public curiosity; the handicap today has been set at 12 points and Meath are available at 16/1.

Pádraic Harnan missed the last day through injury and isn’t named. A fit Harnan in the half-back line would be a huge asset to Meath where Donal Keogan has been outstanding this summer.

But no matter how many times you keep turning and twisting the Rubik’s cube it keeps saying Dublin.

Verdict: Dublin

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