Derry pos­sess fire­power to trou­ble Dublin

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - GAELIC GAMES CHAMPIONSHIP 2017 -

All-Ire­land MFC semi-fi­nal Dublin v Derry Croke Park, 2.0 Live TG4

Dublin will seek to ad­vance to their first All-Ire­land mi­nor foot­ball cham­pi­onship fi­nal in five years when they face Derry in Croke Park to­mor­row.

While Dublin have en­joyed a wealth of suc­cess at se­nior and un­der-21 lev­els in re­cent years, their record at mi­nor level is rel­a­tively dis­ap­point­ing. To­mor­row’s con­test hands Dublin a great op­por­tu­nity to progress to a fi­nal meeting with Kerry, although Derry will be equally con­fi­dent of pre­vail­ing after an Ul­ster cham­pi­onship cam­paign they dom­i­nated.

They were buoyed by a nar­row 0-18 to 1-14 win over a fan­cied Ty­rone side ini­tially and eased past both Antrim and Ca­van with high-scor­ing per­for­mances. They are not too re­liant on any one player for scores, with Richie Mul­lan, Ben McCar­ron, Lor­can McWil­liams and Paddy Quigg all chip­ping in reg­u­larly and the wide ex­panses of Croke Park may suit their propen­sity to at­tack.

Dublin are no shrink­ing vi­o­lets in that re­gard ei­ther, with James Do­ran, Ross McGarry and David Lacey match-win­ners in their own right, but their at­tack­ing unit mal­func­tioned alarm­ingly in their laboured quar­ter-fi­nal vic­tory over Clare ear­lier this month.

Con­sis­tency has eluded them, most notably in their first round Le­in­ster win against Meath in which they trailed by 10 points at half-time, and they took the foot off the gas in the second half of the Le­in­ster fi­nal against Louth, al­beit with the ben­e­fit of a 2-11 to 0-5 in­ter­val lead. That same trait be­trayed their col­lec­tive tal­ents against Clare and there is no ques­tion Derry pos­sess far more fire­power to pun­ish these in­con­sis­ten­cies.

The Ul­ster cham­pi­ons will also seek im­prove­ment after they strug­gled to get over the line against Sligo in their lasteight clash, even­tu­ally pre­vail­ing by 1-13 to 0-15. As­sum­ing they have rec­ti­fied those is­sues, Derry look a more solid out­fit and could well trou­ble a Dublin de­fence that has yet to be truly tested.

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