SEAN WALL

Drogheda Independent - - SPORT -

BOSS Jim Gavin will likely be look­ing to un­earth an­other Brian Howard or Eoin Mur­chan when Dublin take on Meath in the O’Byrne Cup semi-fi­nal at Par­nell Park this Satur­day at 7pm.

Gavin will hardly be in a rush to have his es­tab­lished stars back in ac­tion this early in the year, so it will likely be an ex­per­i­men­tal side that will come up against their old ri­vals.

Fin­gal­lians’ Oisin Lynch, a mem­ber of the Un­der-21 All-Ire­land-win­ning squad of 2017, scored 2-3 in the re­cent Dubs Stars Chal­lenge and he could get an­other chance to im­press.

Sker­ries Harps’ Stephen Smith is an­other for­ward also on Gavin’s radar, as is Paddy Small, brother of four-time All-Ire­land win­ner John.

This will be Dublin’s first out­ing in the O’Byrne Cup as they re­ceived a bye to this stage of the com­pe­ti­tion.

When the sides last clashed a num­ber of weeks back in the Sean Cox fundraiser Meath emerged vic­tors 0-16 to 1-11. That Dublin team in­cluded just four All-Ire­land starters - Eoin Mur­chan, Brian Fen­ton, Brian Howard and Niall Scully.

For Andy McEn­tee and Meath it is all about get­ting as many com­pet­i­tive matches as pos­si­ble prior to the start of their NFL Di­vi­sion 2 cam­paign at home to Tip­per­ary on Jan­uary 27th.

Fol­low­ing the win over Wex­ford in En­nis­cor­thy, McEn­tee ex­pressed him­self happy with the out­come as well as the con­tri­bu­tion of the young ad­di­tions to the panel.

‘The young lads that have come into the panel have added some­thing - great en­ergy, great en­thu­si­asm,’ McEn­tee said. ‘ Most of them haven’t played at this level be­fore and that was a fair score­line on a day like that and on a pitch like that.

‘The vast ma­jor­ity of the scores came from open play. Wex­ford did get in for a cou­ple of goal chances in the first half, so that is some­thing we will be look­ing at,’ McEn­tee con­tin­ued.

‘We also squan­dered three goal chances and you can­not af­ford that. You have to be more ruth­less when op­por­tu­ni­ties present them­selves.

‘When we at­tack I would like it to be a lit­tle bit quicker. That was ev­i­dent at times to­day, but at other times our build-up was slower than what I would have liked, but we are def­i­nitely work­ing on it.

‘The game against Tip­per­ary at the end of the month is ev­ery­one’s fo­cus, but there is no bet­ter prepa­ra­tion for that than to play Dublin in Par­nell Park. I hope the lads are re­ally look­ing for­ward to it,’ McEn­tee con­cluded.

Meath man­ager Andy McEn­tee watches the ac­tion un­fold last Satur­day.

for­ward to set up an at­tack.

One to watch - newcomer Oisin Lynch.

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