This Sunday’s All-Ireland senior football final between Dublin and Kerry promises to be a cracking match and I am struggling to settle on one side or the other.
In Dublin’s favour they have had two tough games against Mayo and they proved that they have the stomach for the battle. They have a very strong team overall and they have some super subs, three of whom came off the bench in the semi-final replay to win the game for them.
Diarmuid Connolly was very poor in that game and that was probably down to the hullabaloo over his suspension. He is a class act and is sure to play well in the final.
On the down side for Dublin is the fact that they are poor enough at midfield and they will have to come up with a way of limiting Anthony Maher and David Moran. Remember too that Brian Sheehan is in reserve for Kerry if they need him.
Then when you look at Kerry they are very strong in midfield and attack. In fact they have at least nine forwards who would get on any other intercounty team. Their tradition in finals is incredible too and they know how to win. In addition they have a brilliant young manager in Eamon Fitzmaurice who will have a game plan hatched to cope with Dublin.
On the minus side the Kerry defence looks porous and if Dublin can get enough supply into Bernard Brogan, Paul Flynn and Diarmuid Connolly, they can get the match-winning scores. Once again the kick-outs of Stephen Cluxton will be crucial. It is a fascinating game in prospect. I am going to give a very hesitant vote to Dublin to win it by a point or two.
In the minor final we have a repeat of the Munster decider when Tipperary take on Kerry. Jack O’Connor is still over the Kerry team and I will be shocked if they don’t win this with a bit to spare.
Staying on matters GAA, Limerick’s U-21 hurlers put on some show last Saturday night in the final in Thurles. They hammered a very good Wexford team. I heard several hurling experts say on Sunday that it was one of the finest exhibitions of hurling that they had seen at that level.
The trick now is to turn it into senior success.
We remember that Limerick won three U-21 titles in a row about 15 years ago and everyone was predicting that they would take over at senior level but it never happened. Kilkenny have not won an U-21 title since 2007 and they have won several senior All-Irelands since.