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Monday 18 December 2017

Young Dubs to edge Derry

All-Ireland MFC semi-final Dublin V Derry (Tomorrow, Live TG4, 2.0)

James Doran
James Doran

Dublin will hope to take another step towards a first national title in five years when they face Derry in their All-Ireland MFC semi-final in Croke Park tomorrow .

The Dubs last claimed the Tom Markham Cup back in 2012 under the guidance of Dessie Farrell and it's another Na Fianna clubman, Tom Gray, that's hoping his side can book a final spot against Kerry.

For his team to succeed, they most show a greater degree of consistency.

Derry's path to the last four has been impressive, starting with a noteworthy 0-18 to 1-14 success against a fancied Tyrone. They franked their form with straightforward wins against both Antrim and Cavan to claim the Ulster title.

Their form dipped slightly in the All-Ireland quarter-final against Sligo but they showed sufficient character to prevail by 1-13 to 0-15.

Richie Mullan proved their match-winner on that occasion but they haven't proven too reliant on any one player with the likes of Ben McCarron, Lorcan McWilliams and Paddy Quigg all chipping in regularly with vital scores.

Derry are committed to an inventive, attacking approach, which may well prosper in the wide environs of Croke Park.

Dublin should also benefit from a return to the scene of their Leinster final win against Louth where goals from James Madden and James Doran set the tone for a comfortable win.

However, the Dubs were far from comfortable in their own quarter-final against Clare, struggling for any cohesion initially before eventually rediscovering their form and potential to complete a 2-11 to 0-10 win.

There is unquestioned ability in the Dublin team however, with Ross McGarry having struck five goals to date and they possess a stable and powerful midfield in Donal Ryan and Mark Tracey.

A strong start would help settle any nerves and if Dublin can play to a consistent level for the full 60 minutes, they should have enough options off the bench to complete a narrow victory.

Verdict: Dublin

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