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Saturday 25 November 2017

Davis hot under Hud'

Dubs Star Paul poised to pull plug on Mearnóg dream

NAOMH MEARNOG will have it all to do when they travel to Kiltipper Road to face Thomas Davis in the Dublin under-21 'B' Football Championship final this Saturday afternoon (2.15).

Central to Thomas Davis' chances will be the form of their current Dubs Star Paul Hudson, who illuminated New Year's Day with two sublime points against Dublin and it is likely that the scoring onus will rest on his shoulders.

That responsibility hasn't hindered Hudson to date, with his personal tally to 1-5 pivotal in his side's 1-12 to 0-7 win over Fingal Ravens in the semi-final, following a high-scoring win over a fancied Ballinteer St John's in the last eight.

He received valuable support on that day from Dean Nolan, who notched four points while Thomas Davis can also rely on 2010 Dublin minor Adam Fallon, Dean Brennan and Aaron Delaney for valuable scores in that impressive victory.

That the hosts trailed by two points at the interval to Fingal makes their win all the more impressive and the defensive displays of both full-back Kevin Burke and wing-back Robbie Sharkey were instrumental in restrict-ing Ravens to just two points in the second half.

How they and their fellow defenders deal with a powerful Naomh Mearnóg will go a long way to deciding the outcome and the Portmarnock men will not be short of confidence after coming from behind to defeat St Jude's by three points in their semi-final.

Seán Kenny's redeployment from midfield to full-forward made all the difference that day, as he scored both goals in that 2-5 to 0-8 win, and his expected tussle with Burke could be worth the admission fee alone.

The concession of just eight points to St Jude's reflected well on the defensive efforts of Collie Fahy and corner-back Morgan O'Reilly while Dublin U21 Kevin O'Brien will hope to provide a solid midfield platform for the visitors.

However, that may prove insufficient for Mearnóg as home advantage and a greater attacking threat should be enough for Thomas Davis to prevail by a couple of points.

VERDICT: Thomas Davis

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