Tuesday 12 December 2017

Blues to draw bumper Croker crowd

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The GAA is anticipating its biggest attendance of the season when Dublin and Tyrone meet in tomorrow night's All-Ireland football quarter final.

So far, Dublin's Leinster semi-final against Kildare on June 26, which also had the Carlow/Wexford semi-final as a curtain raiser, has been the best attended match with 58,753 fans.

But sales in advance of tomorrow's night Croke Park fixture indicate that the 60,000 barrier will be broken for the first time this season.

It once again underlines the pulling power of the Dublin football team, especially when they are playing Tyrone.

The fact that it is an evening throw-in and will be floodlit for the majority of the game appears to be adding to the attraction.

When the same counties met at the same stage of last year's championship the crowd was 62,749, but Kerry and Down were also on the bill.

In 2007 -- for the first floodlit game in Croke Park -- and again in 2009 for the launch of the 125th anniversary celebrations these great modern-day rivals drew almost capacity crowds.

Attendances at GAA matches have largely held up to expectations and with 40,000 expected in Croke Park on Sunday for the All-Ireland hurling semi-final between Kilkenny and Waterford, it will see the figure for attendances break the one-million barrier.

The weather could yet be a factor, however, with a forecast for rain in the Dublin area over the weekend.

Dublin manager Pat Gilroy was due to announce his team this morning with Philly McMahon and Michael Darragh Macauley both pressing hard for inclusion after recent injuries and Barry Cahill apparently being looked at as an option at centre-forward.

Irish Independent

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