herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Good to see Harte in the right place!

HE'S the manager who can't lose to Kerry, when Sam Maguire is at stake, and he's also the man who used to have Dublin in his back pocket ... until the last two summers, that is.

So then, who does Mickey Harte think will win Sunday's All-Ireland SFC final?

Tyrone's three-time All-Ireland winner is going against the bookmaking consensus by backing Pat Gilroy's eager beavers.

Whether this has anything to do with Dublin's consecutive quarter-final victories over the Red Hand, including last month's tour de force, we'll leave you to second-guess.

But writing in his weekly newspaper column, Harte surmises: "For me, the key question is: can Dublin's defensive system curtail the flair of the Kerry forwards and punish them on the counter attack? It will take a collective effort but I think they can do it, especially if Kerry are as attack minded as they claim they intend to be.

"I think 13-to-15 points could be enough to win this game and my hunch is that Dublin's semi-final experience will serve them better than Kerry's equivalent encounter," he concludes.

Intriguingly, in the same paper, the Irish News Ulster Allstars were asked for their All-Ireland prediction and the jury voted a 10-5 in favour of ... Dublin! Maybe it's part of a Northern conspiracy?

KEEP an eye out for the two young guns who get their hands on Sam Maguire this Sunday -- before the big match, not afterwards.

Ryan Murphy (Dublin) and Muiris Fitzgerald (Kerry) will bring Sam onto the Croke Park pitch before both teams explode from the Hogan Stand tunnel and run past the famous cup on Sunday afternoon.

Any big-match fears for our youthful duo can be allayed, because All-Ireland final day is part of their DNA. Ryan's dad is none other than Hill 16 hero Vinny Murphy, while Muiris is the son of the one and only Maurice Fitz.

IF it ain't broke, don't fix it. Tipperary have stuck with the same 15 for their All-Ireland minor football final with Dublin.

TIPPERARY (MFC v Dublin): E Comerford; N O'Sullivan, J Meagher, C O'Sullivan; C O'Riordan, D Fitzelle, S Kennedy; S O'Brien, I Fahey; G Henry, P Quirke, B Maher; L McGrath, M Quinlivan, TJ Ryan.

-- COMPILED BY FRANK ROCHE

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