Dubs On The Double For Intriguing Double-Bill
There are few teams deemed to be at a level capable of taking Dublin down on a big day, but Donegal are one of them.
An over-reliance on Michael Murphy, for sure, but when they fire this Donegal side looks potent and fluid enough to trouble the Dubs.
Murphy is already deemed one of the greatest players to have ever graced the game and certainly pushes hard for the best Donegal footballer of all time with his sublime fielding, kicking, playmaking, positioning and leadership qualities.
The problem for the Ulster men is that Dublin are more consistent and better balanced as a unit. And when the sides clash in the Allianz Football League Roinn 1 on Saturday, Dublin might just have enough to secure the points.
The reigning All-Ireland champions looked on course for defeat last time out but courtesy of a late Kevin McManamon goal and further points in added time, they snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat against Monaghan. Psychologically, that will have lifted Dublin, kept their shield intact and their opponents at bay.
Meanwhile, Donegal suffered their first League defeat of the season after they were narrowly beaten 2-8 to 2-7 by Galway in O’Donnell Park. Once more it was a penalty from Murphy that helped Donegal into a 1-3 to 0-4 ahead at half-time. But they surrendered a seven-point lead after the restart and allowed Galway to trek back down the N17 with all two points.
If they are to achieve progress this season, they will need more consistency. And Saturday night’s game is as big a test as you can glean right now.
There is a tasty curtain-raiser ahead of the main dish. The Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B between Mattie Kenny’s Dublin side and Wexford takes place at 5pm.
After wreaking ‘Storm Davy’ on Kilkenny last weekend, securing a fine win against Brian Cody’s side, Wexford will see another potential two points here but, truth be told, at this stage of the season it’s Kenny’s men that could do with a big win against the head.
By Damian Lawlor