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HQ expects biggest crowd of summer so far

GAA officials are confidently predicting the biggest attendance, thus far, of summer 2012 when Dublin and Meath lock horns on Sunday -- but Leinster chiefs are peddling a more cautious line than Dublin chairman Andy Kettle.

Whereas Kettle reckons Sunday's Leinster SFC decider will be a virtual sell-out, Leinster Council secretary Michael Delaney said his estimate (as of yesterday) was between 50,000 and 55,000. Provincial chairman Martin Skelly was aiming higher - he's expecting 60,000 to turn up.

Kettle, though, is confident that the draw of a first Dublin/Meath Leinster final in 11 years will bring out the masses. "I think they could be pulling the covers off those front rows this weekend," he declared. "Dublin/Meath is always a great game. Particularly where I come from in north county Dublin, the next parish is Meath so it's huge rivalry but a good rivalry. You can see the lads from 21 years ago are still great friends. That's what the game is about."

Skelly, for his part, remarked: "We are expecting in around 60,000. If we get more than that, we'd be delighted. Anything below, you'd be a little bit disappointed."

While Leinster is still awaiting word on Dublin's ticket take-up, its chairman pointed out that 30,000 were already sold by yesterday. "There is massive interest in both counties -- and there is a huge national interest, shown by the number of applications from all over the country. We haven't seen it in quite a long time now," the Longford official added.