Lilies primed for 'relentlesss' Dubs
KIERAN McGEENEY is expecting an unseasonably strong Dublin outfit to arrive in Newbridge this Sunday (2.0) for their Bord na Móna O'Byrne Cup semi-final with his Kildare team.
Pat Gilroy's team have defied the customary post All-Ireland slump to record big wins over Carlow and UCD in their opening competitive forays in 2012 and McGeeney, whose Kildare team have been in arguably more impressive form in the opening weeks of January, attributes that to the number of first team player currently populating Dublin's early season team sheet.
"People are saying that Dublin aren't putting out much of a team but I was looking at the scorers (from their victory over UCD) and Kevin McManamon, Diarmuid Connolly...they seem fairly regular to me," he asserted.
"He (Pat Gilroy) is probably no different to ourselves. He's probably looking at three or four positions. Dublin keep to the same structure, the same gameplan relentlessly and it's one people find very hard to break down."
Both sides swept their quarter-final opposition aside last weekend to set up a rematch of last summer's controversial Leinster SFC semi-final, a match which Dublin won thanks to a contentious free awarded by Cormac Reilly for a disputed foul by Andriú Mac Lochlainn on Bernard Brogan. The match looks set to draw an unusually large crowd to St Conleth's Park, Newbridge although Leinster Council have declined to make the match all-ticket, despite the reduced capacity in Newbridge.
"Hopefully we'll get a good crowd here and get a good atmosphere," noted McGeeney. "That's one thing that Newbridge has going for it with the close proximity to the pitch, you can get a pulsating atmosphere. So hopefully we'll put up a good performance."
The Leinster Council are confident that no supporters will be turned away. St Conleth's Park had been one of the grounds whose capacity was reduced as a result of findings of the Slattery Report and at present, the Newbridge facility holds 6,500 paying punters.
"We've looked at the crowds getting out for games so far and we figure there'll be a crowd of around 4,000 in Newbridge. We discussed an all-ticket match but have decided it is not required," confirmed Leinster Council Chief Executive, Michael Delaney.
DUBLIN'S County Board have also announced details of this year's Spring Series, including two of the three confirm musical acts. The Rubberbandits and Ham Sandwich have been confirmed as providing entertainment on the first two nights of the series while it is anticipated that the legendary Dubliners will provide the entertainment on the last date of the three double-headers.
John Costello, Chief Executive of the Dublin County Board, said: "We understand that money is tight for many people at the moment so we have priced tickets as competitively as we possibly can so everyone has the opportunity to come along and enjoy themselves, watch our great national games and soak up the atmosphere."
Tickets are currently on sale - the three-match package costs €30 (package for all three nights) or €13 per date per adult and €10 (three-match deal) for under-16s or €5 per event.
Tickets are available from GAA, www.gaa.ie or www.tickets.ie. Tickets are also available from the GAA Ticket office (53A Lower Dorset St) on match week's only.
DUBLIN GAA SPRING SERIES 2012
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4
Kildare v Tyrone (Football)
Entertainment: The Rubberbandits
Dublin v Kerry (Football)
SUNDAY, MARCH 11
Dublin v Cork (Hurling)
Entertainment: Ham Sandwich
Dublin v Armagh (Football)
SATURDAY, MARCH 24
Dublin v Tipperary (Hurling)
Entertainment: To be confirmed
Dublin v Donegal (Football)
TICKET PRICING INFORMATION
Three-match deal: Adult €30, Child €10
Single games: Adult €13, Child €5