herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Dublin face tough task to defeat Lilies

Ciaran Archer has impressed for Dublin
Ciaran Archer has impressed for Dublin

Dublin will hope to go one step further than 12 months ago when they take on a talented Laois outfit in the Leinster Under 20 Football Championship decider in Tullamore this evening.

O'Connor Park was the venue a year ago when a hotly-fancied Dubs team were turned over by an inspired Kildare performance and the lessons learned from that dispiriting night should stand to Tom Gray's (inset) charges tonight.

Dublin have cruised into the final after comprehensive wins over Longford and Wexford with just 13 points conceded over the course of those facile wins, while Ciaran Archer from St Maur's has grabbed the headlines at the opposite end of the field with a brace of telling displays.

Archer has been bang on target, accruing 3-16 in total while the likes of James Doran and Ross McGarry have combined well throughout with Dublin able to call upon the talents of Harry Ladd and David Lacey from the bench.

Both Kieran Kennedy and Sean Lambe have impressed when raiding from wing-back, but they may not be afforded that same latitude tonight against a Laois team that has enjoyed a hugely encouraging campaign.

Their opening round win over holders Kildare helped lay the platform for subsequent wins over Westmeath and Meath with the latter as comfortable as the 1-13 to 0-7 scoreline would suggest.

Both Sean O'Flynn and Mark Barry have strengthened their options since returning from the senior panel and they possess potent attackers in the form of Alan Kinsella, Dan McCormack and Diarmuid Whelan.

They are unquestionably the more battle hardened of the two teams which could be pivotal if the contest develops in an expectedly tight manner.

However, Dublin may just have enough depth to get the job done, assuming they have learned their harsh lessons of last year.

Verdict: DUBLIN

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