Tuesday 25 October 2016

McGuirk's outfit look too strong for Glens'

mhc q-final


Dublin v Antrim

(Breffni Park, Today, 3.0)

DUBLIN will look to bounce back from the disappointment of their provincial final defeat when they face Antrim in their Electric Ireland All-Ireland MHC quarter-final in Breffni Park this afternoon (3.0).

The Dubs looked primed to defeat Kilkenny in the Leinster decider last month but the concession of four late points effectively ended their hopes of a first provincial title in three years.

How Dublin respond to that loss will be crucial given they face an Antrim side that enter the contest as heavy underdogs despite an impressive and comprehensive title defence in Ulster.

Both Down and Derry were brushed aside with relative ease with Christy McNaughton inspiring the Glensmen to a facile 2-20 to 1-9 final success over Derry three weeks ago.


Most of the pressure will be on the Dubs, which may play into Antrim's hands, but there has been a fair degree of maturity inherent in Dublin's performances this summer that should ensure that complacency won't enter the equation this afternoon.

Dublin manager Johnny McGuirk admitted that he learnt a lot about his panel despite that loss to Kilkenny and he has shaken things up with four changes made to his starting line-up.

Cian O'Sullivan earns a deserved starting role at wing-back while the attack is freshened up by the inclusion of Alex Considine, Ciarán Dowling and Daire Gray.

However, the loss of Donal Burke to injury is a considerable blow as the Na Fianna lad has the mettle and versatility required for the top level.

The Dubs could hardly be called prolific in their three matches to date and one would imagine an improvement in scoring returns will be required if national ambitions are to be realised.

However, their defensive solidity should ensure that concern can be addressed at a later date with Dublin expected to advance with five-six points to spare against the Ulster minor champions.


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