Sunday 17 November 2019

Meath can offer Dubs first big test - Doyle

Wexford defender Aindreas Doyle
Wexford defender Aindreas Doyle
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Wexford defender Aindreas Doyle believes that Meath can rattle Dublin, despite the Leinster champions being hot favourites for Sunday's provincial decider.

The Model County would have been gearing up for another final crack at the Dubs had they successfully negotiated their path two weeks ago but they came up short against the Royals.

Following their 16-point victory over Kildare, most pundits are tipping Jim Gavin's men to ease past their old rivals and claim an eighth Delaney Cup in nine years.

But Doyle, whose Wexford side are playing Longford in the qualifiers on Saturday, believes that Mick O'Dowd's men can upset the odds and give Dublin a scare.

"I think they can," he said. "Dublin are flying and they had pretty big victories over Westmeath and Kildare, but you don't learn as much from those games as you do from close games and games you lose.

"Dublin haven't really been tested. I don't think many people are going to go back Meath to beat Dublin, the way Dublin are playing, but I'm sure Meath will have plenty of belief they can do that.

"If Mick O'Dowd can get his tactics right to stop Dublin, then Meath have every chance. They have the forwards that can get the scores, they have the experience, they have a midfield that can win a lot of ball.

"We would have loved to get a crack at Dublin. We would have had no fear going in, but it wasn't to be."

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As for their own task at hand, Doyle (above) believes that Wexford are in a better place than in previous seasons when they have struggled in the qualifiers.

"This year it's a little bit different. The last few years we've come out of Leinster getting defeated and we've been chasing a Leinster title over the last few years, so it's hard to pick yourselves up and go back and play six days later," the 'Fighting Blindness' ambassador said.

"But this year we've got a two-week break which we think we can take advantage of, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and go at it again.

"People are saying 'we've got Longford, Longford's a good draw'. There is no good draw really. We've played them five, six times in the last few years and every one of those games there has been a point in it going one way or the other."

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