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Sunday 4 December 2016

Ger Cunningham facing tough midfield decision with Niall McMorrow ruled out

Ger Cunningham
Ger Cunningham

GER Cunningham has decisions to make, both in goal and midfield, ahead of his maiden Championship selection as Dublin manager tonight.

Gary Maguire is expected to get the nod in the Dublin number one jersey however, despite the strong claims of Alan Nolan.

Nolan was first choice last summer in Maguire's absence and finished with a Man of the Match award in Dublin's disappointing Leinster SHC final defeat to Kilkenny.

The St Brigid's man was also nominated for an All Star.

He played all five of Dublin's Division 1A matches this year while Maguire recovered from a finger injury but lost out for the quarter-final win over Limerick.

Maguire then retained the goalkeeper's jersey for Dublin's League semi-final defeat to Cork in Nowlan Park and though Nolan kept goal recently in a high scoring win over Tipperary in a challenge match at Upperchurch-Drombane's grounds two Sundays ago, Cunningham fielded a largely second string selection.

The issue of Dublin's midfield makeup is decidedly less clear cut.

Niall McMorrow looked to have nailed down a starting spot after three strong performances there but a thumb injury could see him miss an estimated four to six weeks of action.

McMorrow and Johnny McCaffrey came on at half-time in Dublin's win over Galway in Parnell Park on March 22nd and instantly forged a balanced partnership in an area that had, until then, been in a state of flux.

Both held their spot for the Limerick and Cork matches and while McCaffrey is expected to play on Sunday, Cunningham must choose a suitable partner in McMorrow's absence.

Shane Durkin was arguably Dublin's most consistent performer in the League, though his services could again be required in Cunningham's half-back line.

contenders

Joey Boland - yet to play competitively since the Walsh Cup because of an Achilles injury - could come straight back into the team, while Colm Cronin and Simon Lambert are the other contenders.

The other selection issue is in attack, with one of Paul Ryan, 'Dosty' O'Callaghan or David Treacy likely to miss out after Danny Sutcliffe's return from injury.

Dublin

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