Wednesday 22 May 2019

Dub minors look to get back on track

Leinster MFC: Offaly v Dublin (O'Connor Park Tullamore, 7.0)

On form: Luke Swan
On form: Luke Swan

Dublin's Leinster Minor Football Championship ambitions will face an acid test this evening when they travel to O'Connor Park, Tullamore to take on Offaly in their Group 1 encounter (7.0).

The Dubs lie in a precarious position following last week's defeat at the hands of Meath and a victory looks imperative this evening if they are to secure one of the top two spots at the end of the round-robin series of matches.

That may prove easier said than done against an Offaly team that, alongside Meath, boast a perfect record to date following their victories over Wicklow and Westmeath in recent weeks.

After beating Wicklow in Aughrim, the Faithful fought back well to defeat Westmeath by 1-12 to 1-9 last Wednesday night - having been behind 1-7 to 1-5 at half-time - with the scoring contributions of Aaron Kellaghan and Sean Courtney proving pivotal on the night.

Dublin struggled for primary possession in Navan last week, losing the aerial battle at midfield, and they'll look for a greater return from that key sector tonight.

The goals of Luke Swan kept the Dubs in contention against Meath but his exertions with the county's minor hurling team, alongside fellow dual players Liam Dunne, Conor Murray and Sean Foran, could be taking their toll given the busy programme of both teams of late.

As well as the need to secure possession to feed quality ball to the inside forwards, Dublin will have to tighten up and improve their discipline at the other end of the field; Meath's Luke Mitchell made hay last week, pointing four frees and adding two from play.

Dublin's opening-round win against Louth - when the Sky Blues hit 3-6 without reply in the final quarter - seems a long time ago now.

However, there is undoubted quality in their panel and Jason Sherlock and Ger Gleeson's side are expected to get back on track by claiming the precious points on the road this evening.

Verdict: Dublin

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