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Monday 26 September 2016

Dublin/Meath will 'reignite' in time - Cian

Waterford hurler Austin Gleeson and Dublin footballer Cian O’Sullivan at the Sure ‘Official Statistics Partner’ for the GAA. The three-year partnership sees Sure become an integral part of the GAA’s match statistics throughout the championships. Picture credit: Kevin Goss-Ross
Waterford hurler Austin Gleeson and Dublin footballer Cian O’Sullivan at the Sure ‘Official Statistics Partner’ for the GAA. The three-year partnership sees Sure become an integral part of the GAA’s match statistics throughout the championships. Picture credit: Kevin Goss-Ross

Perhaps it's a measure of Dublin's exalted status - or how far the rest of Leinster football has fallen - but the All-Ireland champions weren't entirely satisfied with their double-digit victory over Meath last Sunday.

So confirmed Cian O'Sullivan, when asked about Pat Spillane's typically colourful comments on The Sunday Game where he said the Dubs were "fluting around at the moment" with a view to peaking in August.

"Second half the last day was a bit flat," the Sky Blue centre-back conceded. "From our perspective we'd be unhappy with aspects of the second half.

"By and large we got a performance against Meath so on balance, we're very happy with how we're doing. That's all we can do, build on that performance the next day.

"If we win (against Westmeath) we're into an All-Ireland quarter-final. It's scary how fast this season is going. It feels like we're coming out of pre-season yet we're into a Leinster final already."

O'Sullivan insisted that the Dublin/Meath rivalry isn't dead - although he tacitly accepted the criticism that last weekend's latest collision ultimately lacked the intensity for which the fixture was once renowned.

"The first half was quite a good half of football, I'd say, from a spectator's perspective. It was a close game. I felt the intensity out there," he pointed out.

"In the second half the game just seemed to go down a couple of paces, quite a flat performance from probably both sets of teams. I know we ended up winning by 10 points but, from our perspective, the aim was just to win and to get to a Leinster final and we achieved that."

O'Sullivan's own belief is that Meath will come again with a team to rattle Dublin, who are obliged to make the most of this era of dominance.

"It's funny how these things ebb and flow. Teams go through patches of good and bad times," he said.

"I remember my first year playing on the Dublin and quarter-final against Kerry, a massive deal as it always is ... and got beaten by 17 points.

Fickle

"That was 2009. Two years later we were lifting Sam in 2011. In such a short space of time things changed and it's something we're very conscious of in the Dublin team, that sport is very fickle.

"There's no guarantees and you could be on top of the hill, the king of the hill one week, and the next week the whole thing could fall asunder."

He added: "That (Meath) rivalry will reignite over years. I know at underage level we enjoyed some very good battles with Meath and we had some strong battles with Meath over the last couple of years.

"There's the likes of Cillian O'Sullivan making the step-up and coming through, and I have no doubt in the next couple of years that they'll be a force to be reckoned with and that we'll have some of those epic battles.

"We're close neighbours and with that always comes that rivalry and that extra bit of spice to games. That'll always be there."

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