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Galway fell off the summit of Division 1 following their loss to Mayo at the weekend. However, a lot of Padraic Joyce’s star names were absent. On the other hand, Dessie Farrell’s stint as Dublin manager continued with another win over Meath. In a high-scoring game, Dublin had the only goal to aid a four-point win. As a result, these sides are tied on 8 points, just one behind Kerry. Thus, a win could see either of these teams crowned champions if the Kingdom don’t beat Donegal. Galway vs Dublin is on TG4 on Sunday.
Padraic Joyce labelled the 15 point loss to Mayo as “Probably the most embarrassing day of my career”. After already losing Shane Walsh and the Moycullen contingent, Joyce was further hampered by losing Damien Comer and Johnny Duane early in the game.
Therefore, Galway go into the final round with a depleted squad. But, Joyce will prioritise the Championship game against Sligo rather than risk players against Dublin.
Worryingly, Mayo’s 17 first-half points at the weekend all came in or around the D. This will be cause for concern for Joyce who knows Dublin will punish them for such openness. As a result, expect to see a more condensed Galway defence this Sunday.
Meanwhile, Dublin oozed class in the game against Meath. Despite conceding 0-19, they were never really under threat. Dean Rock, Con O’Callaghan, and Dean Rock all had a day of shooting practice to hone their touch. But, Brian Fenton and Paddy Small were the only other scorers.
It will be interesting to see how Farrell approaches the Galway game. Will he deploy his big guns and go for the title? Or will he rotate his squad to look at some of his other options? Such is Dublin’s squad depth that even if he opts to rotate, there may be nothing Galway can do to stop Dublin challenging Kerry.
Padraic Joyce doesn’t have any good news ahead of this game. Comer’s hamstring injury appeared to be more than just a niggle. Likewise, Johnny Duane probably won’t feature this time around. As a result, Joyce’s options are limited and he may have to make do with what he has.
Aaron Byrne and Sean Bugler were given cameos off the bench for Dublin against Meath. Farrell could use them from the start against Galway to rest some of his key forwards. Similarly, Robbie McDaid could have another chance to impress in the half-back line.
Johnny Cooper limped off after 11 minutes last weekend. Eoin Murchan could be his replacement for the Galway game.
Prediction: Dublin. The five-in-a-row All-Ireland Champions haven’t shown any signs of slowing down in the transition between managers. Against a weakened Galway side, they should have too much firepower over the course of 70 minutes.
Dublin (Galway): Stephen Cluxton; Cian Murphy, David Byrne, Michael Fitzsimons; John Small, Jonny Cooper, Robert McDaid; Brian Fenton, Emmet O Conghaile; Eric Lowndes, Ciaran Kilkenny, Niall Scully; Paddy Small, Con O’Callaghan, Dean Rock.
Galway (Dublin): Bernard Power; Sean Kelly, Sean Mulkerrin, James Foley; Liam Silke, Gary O’Donnell, Johnny Heaney; Cein Darcy, Tom Flynn; Paul Kelly, Paul Conroy, Jason Leonard; Robert Finnerty, Adrian Varley, Ian Burke.
Galway vs Dublin: Division 1, Sunday, October 25th, 2pm (Pearse Stadium).
Watch the Full-Time Highlights of Dublin v Meath in Round 6 of the Allianz Football League here on GAANOW!
Meath: 0-19 pic.twitter.com/iqWy6EkO90
— The GAA (@officialgaa) October 17, 2020