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Tuesday 12 December 2017

All's gold in Foran fifteen

THE ex-Dublin midfielder Dave Foran took on an interesting exercise. He put the 1995 and the 2011 Dublin All-Ireland winning teams into the mix, and this is the dish he came up with.

Stephen Cluxton; Michael Fitzsimons, Rory O'Carroll, Cian O'Sullivan; Paul Curran, Keith Barr, Mick Deegan; Paul Bealin, Brian Stynes; Paul Flynn, Dessie Farrell, Paul Clarke; Alan Brogan, Bernard Brogan, Charlie Redmond.

The end result - a 0-8 to 0-7 victory for the Ninety-Fivers. Picking Cluxton ahead of John O'Leary was a tight call. "O'Leary is regarded as one of the all-time greats, but Cluxton has brought the art of goalkeeping to another level," reflected Dave.

And no room in Foran's Fifteen for the '95 full-back line of Keith Galvin, Ciarán Walsh and Paddy Moran. "They were all great readers of the game, but the 2011 full-back line proved a superb unit."

And then the half-back line. "Curran, Barr and Deegan were blessed with skill, strength and blistering pace. They were the launch pad of many a victory. At midfield, I gave Stynes and Bealin the nod because there were a lot more high catches to admire years ago.

"I selected Flynn in the half-forwards because he does so much work for the team, and Farrell and Clarke were brilliant footballers who could get vital scores.

"The two sides provided a wealth of forward talent. The 2011 full-forwards would walk onto any first 15, while in '95, Redmond, Sherlock and Mick Galvin were equally prolific.

"Pat Gilroy is always well aware of how important the bench is.

"He came on himself in that '95 final to play a significant role as did the other subs, Robbie Boyle and Vinnie Murphy.

"And it was no different last September with Eoghan O'Gara, Philip McMahon, Kevin McManamon and Eamon Fennell."

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