Connolly forced to bide time as Dubs un­changed

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - DER­MOT CROWE

DIARMUID CONNOLLY has been omit­ted from the Dublin team named yes­ter­day af­ter­noon to play Mayo in to­day’s All-Ire­land foot­ball fi­nal in Croke Park, as Jim Gavin’s men at­tempt to claim a threein-row last achieved by Kerry in 1986.

GAA team re­leases are no longer gospel, of­ten at vari­ance with the team that even­tu­ally takes the field — the Dublin team named for the semi-fi­nal against Ty­rone had a late change be­fore the throw-in when Eric Lown­des did not start, and was re­placed by Niall Scully.

Connolly, how­ever, may well be kept in re­serve af­ter only mak­ing a 69th-minute ap­pear­ance against Ty­rone; he has not started a game since the win over Car­low on June 3, when he picked up a sus­pen­sion as a re­sult of an in­ci­dent with a lines­man, and has only been seen for those brief mo­ments near the end of Dublin’s 12-point semi-fi­nal win.

The team named for to­day’s fi­nal is the same one that started the semi-fi­nal, with Paul Flynn also listed on the bench de­spite show­ing a star­tling re­turn to form when in­tro­duced for Scully af­ter 44 min­utes against Ty­rone. It would not be a sur­prise if he were a late in­clu­sion af­ter his three-point con­tri­bu­tion in around 25 min­utes three weeks ago. Dublin re­placed five of their for­wards that day but the match was so one-sided that none were as a re­sult of the team be­ing un­der pres­sure.

Bernard Bro­gan failed to get a run against Ty­rone yet he could come back into con­tention in a tight match to­day.

Con O’Cal­laghan is in the spot­light af­ter scor­ing a bril­liant goal against Ty­rone and part of a grow­ing list of at­tack­ers Mayo must cope with if they are to deny Dublin a 27 th All-Ire­land ti­tle.

Mayo, chas­ing their first win since 1951, have an in­jury scare over Diarmuid O’Con­nor, with Patrick Dur­can on standby if he fails to pass a fit­ness test.

Dublin are warm favourites to be­come the first team from the cap­i­tal to win three con­sec­u­tive All-Ire­lands since 1923. They have achieved it three times: 1897-99, 1906-08 and 1921-23.

The GAA con­firmed on Friday that to­day’s dou­ble bill — the cur­tain-raiser is the All-Ire­land mi­nor fi­nal be­tween Derry and Kerry — is a sell-out. A spokesper­son for the As­so­ci­a­tion also said that spec­ta­tors should ar­rive at Croke Park early as bag search pro­ce­dures will be in place and re­minded all pa­trons not to bring large bags or back­packs.

Diarmuid Connolly not in the named team

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