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Monday 5 December 2016

Tom Cribbin: We can have final say over the Dubs

28 June 2015; Tom Cribbin, Westmeath manager, celebrates at the end of the game. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Westmeath v Meath
28 June 2015; Tom Cribbin, Westmeath manager, celebrates at the end of the game. Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Westmeath v Meath

TOM CRIBBIN believes Leinster title rivals Dublin have brought Gaelic football standards “to a different level” … but he isn’t ruling out Westmeath’s potential to cause the provincial final shock of the century.

“There’s no place else we would rather be than going to Croke Park on Leinster final day, and playing the Dubs,” the Westmeath boss enthused.

“If you could win, that goes down in history ... and if we’re not good enough, we’re not good enough.  

“But that doesn’t mean I’d rather be playing them somewhere else, or I’d rather be playing someone weaker - no, Dublin are the best at the moment in Leinster by a long shot.  You have to be fair and honest.  They brought the standards to a different level.” 

The Kildare man, in his first season, has led Westmeath to only their fourth Leinster SFC final.

“Everyone will think I’m mad but I believe on a given day we could do it. I genuinely believe that,” he declared.

“We have to go into the final that way.  We are getting goals, we are getting loads of scores.  We’re conceding too much.  We’ve tried to address that majorly in the last couple of weeks.”

Cribbin yesterday announced a team showing just one change from the line-up that started their famous ambush of Meath, with in-form sub John Connellan replacing Lorcan Smyth. ‘Play-anywhere’ semi-final hero Kieran Martin is again listed at centre-back.

However, this hasn’t diluted speculation about possible further switches in defence and/or midfield ahead of Sunday’s 2pm throw-in.

WESTMEATH (SFC v Dublin): D Quinn; K Daly, K Maguire, J Gilligan; P Holloway, K Martin, J Dolan; D Corroon, D Daly; G Egan, P Sharry, R Connellan; J Connellan, J Heslin, S Dempsey.

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