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Thursday 8 December 2016

Dublin can overcome their woes

LEINSTER MFC QUARTER-FINAL

WEXFORD v DUBLIN

(Bellefield, Enniscorthy, Today, 3.0)

AN injury-ravaged Dublin will put their provincial title on the line when they face Wexford in their Electric Ireland Leinster MFC quarter-final today.

The Dubs will line out without five players that started in their first round success over Offaly last month with injuries to Kevin Callaghan and Darren Byrne of particular concern given their prominence in that 2-11 to 1-9 comeback win.

Callaghan's absence will deprive Dublin of an attacking fulcrum with his aerial ability and direct running a key component of the Blues attack, as witnessed by his influential second-half display against the Faithful County.

As a consequence, the likes of Shane Howard and Tom Fox will be handed added responsibility in securing possession if talented inside-forwards Dillon Keating and Ballymun Kickhams clubmate Paddy Small are to utilise their predatory instincts in front of goal.

The hosts will be buoyed from having overcome Westmeath in Round 1 and the benefit of home advantage at this grade cannot be underestimated.

However, despite their relatively inexperienced panel and notable omissions, Dublin should still possess sufficient talent to pull though, albeit narrowly in what's likely to be a low-scoring affair.

VERDICT: Dublin

FIXTURES

TODAY

LEINSTER SFC RD 1

O'Connor Park: Offaly v Longford, 7.0, P O'Sullivan (Kerry); Netwatch Cullen Park: Carlow v Laois, 7.0, P Neilan (Roscommon)

CHRISTY RING CUP

Owenbeg: Derry v London, 2.0, J Keane (Galway);

Ballina Stephenites: Mayo v Kildare, 1.30, E Hassan (Derry)

RACKARD CUP Q-FINALS

Clones: Monaghan v Donegal, 3.0, A Nash (Derry); Swords: Fingal v Tyrone, 4.0, P Murphy (Carlow)

LEINSTER MFC Q-FINALS (Extra-time if necessary)

Drogheda: Louth v Meath, 3.0, F Smyth (Offaly); Bellefield, Enniscorthy: Wexford v Dublin, 3.0, Chris Dwyer (Offaly)

LADIES NFL1 FINAL REPLAY

O'Moore Park: Cork v Galway, 7.30, M Farrelly (Cavan)

TOMORROW

LEINSTER SFC ROUND 1

Gaelic Grounds, Drogheda: Louth v Westmeath, 3.0, B Cassidy (Derry)

CONNACHT SFC Q-FINAL

Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada: Leitrim v Galway, 3.30, A Nolan (Wicklow)

CONNACHT JFC FINAL

Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada: Mayo v Galway, 1.30

ULSTER SFC PRELIMINARY ROUND

Páirc Mac Cumhaill: Donegal v Tyrone, 4.0, J McQuillan (Cavan), Live RTé2

ELECTRIC IRELAND ULSTER MFC RD 1

Páirc Mac Cumhail: Donegal v Tyrone, 2.15, P Faloon (Down)

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