22/03/2017

History on the Double in Unique Croke Park Double

HISTORY could be made on the double at Croke Park next Saturday night when the Dublin senior footballers seek to make it 35 League and Championship games unbeaten - a feat that has never been achieved in Gaelic Games before.

Meanwhile, a very intriguing undercard also offers us a unique pairing as the meeting of the Dublin and Mayo is the first ever Lidl Ladies Football National League game to be played at Croke Park.

This fascinating, ground-breaking opener will also feature the greatest Ladies Footballer of all time, Mayo's Cora Staunton, a sublimely talented forward worth the admission fee alone. 

The curtain-raiser to the main action gets underway at 5pm and before the Allianz League Division Roinn 1 clash between Dublin and Roscommon at 7pm. 

Much praise has been cast upon Jim Gavin's incredible Dublin side for their sheer conditioning over the past few seasons, their fantastic dynamism in attack and stellar substitutes bench.

But this Saturday night supporters will also get the chance to see players blessed with the greatest mental steel perform at their peak. 

As they proved against Kerry and Mayo last season - and again in Tralee last Saturday night - the Dubs are a team that simply will not accept defeat and for supporters in any walk of life, corporate, education or leadership, there are significant lessons to be learned from watching them in action.  

It’s now 34 games and 24 months since Dublin have last tasted defeat in a competitive fixture and that is a mind-blowing statistic.

Equally exciting for those who attend Saturday night's double-header is the chance to see a Harlem Globetrotters-like subs bench being rolled out with Cian O’Sullivan (28), Paul Flynn (30), Kevin McManamon (30), Eoghan O’Gara (31), Paul Mannion (23), Bernard Brogan (32) all coming on last time out against Kerry.

Indeed the six players that Gavin is currently holding in reserve boast 23 Senior All-Ireland medals between them and possess enough firepower and craft to win most games.

Just like watching Cora Staunton in full flow, seeing these legends of the game in action this weekend will be a treat for any fan, young or old.

And though many neutrals feel Dublin will not be tested this Saturday night, Roscommon, who look doomed for relegation, will come at them with everything they have.

Mathematically, the Rossies are still fighting for their Division One life and while they still have a pulse at this level they will continue to battle for survival.

They need two wins - against Dublin on Saturday night at HQ and then against Cavan - to have a chance of staying up. In addition to that they need results elsewhere to go their way. 

It's a long shot, but they still have a cause when they come to HQ this Saturday night.