Diarmuid Connolly: Big Summer In Store For Dublin

We caught up with BoyleSports Gaelic Football ambassador Diarmuid Connolly for his reaction to the weekend’s All-Ireland group stage action.

Big Summer In Store For Dubs

Kildare 0-13 0-22 Dublin 

Dublin’s victory over Kildare was very impressive. They had a few worrying injuries with the likes of Cormac Costello, Jack McCaffrey and Ciaran Kilkenny not starting. But I thought they dealt fairly well with it and showed a really strong hand. Paddy Woodgate and Darragh Kirwan were two boys to watch and I thought Dublin marshalled them fairly well.

Sean Bugler’s been playing out of his skin this year and he’s been the standout for me; himself and Con O’Callaghan at 11 and 14 have been very good. But the standout player at the weekend was Colm Basquel. He’s been a bit-start player for Dublin and he came in from the start and got five points from play, which is a huge return from a guy who hasn’t necessarily been favoured in that right half-forward position. Both his feet were on fire at the weekend.

Any team who has injuries this time of year and gets a week break to get lads right – it’s going to be a huge plus when they come back. If Dublin can get them lads back on the pitch I think we could see a big summer for the Dubs.

Dublin are now the All-Ireland favourites and you can read all about their chances plus those of the other top contenders to win Sam Maguire in our All-Ireland Football odds post.

Kingdom Relying Too Much On Cliffords

Kerry 1-14 0-15 Cork

Kerry are very hot and cold right now. They went out against the Mayo side who were not tipped to beat them down in Killarney and Mayo turned them over, probably a little bit more convincingly than the scoreline suggested. Kerry struggled for long periods and it was similar against Cork, only that goal made the difference.

Kerry only had five scorers in the game and if you take away David Clifford and Sean O’Shea, you’ve only got four points. That’s a big question mark for this Kerry side. They’re relying really heavily on David Clifford and his brother Paudie. Mayo had their homework done really well on Paudie and if he is starved of possession, David gets starved also and doesn’t get on the scoreboard as frequently as he may like.

Cork are a very defensive side but they were very good against Kerry and they might get through to a quarter-final. But Kerry have a lot of work to do.

I’m not convinced with their midfield and half-backline pairing right now and I don’t think they’ll match up well, especially with the likes of Galway, who were rampant at the weekend in the half-forward line.

Mayo’s Performance Not Good Enough

Mayo 0-14 1-10 Louth

Mayo absolutely blitzed Kerry in the first 20 minutes the week previous and it took them 20 minutes to get started against Louth. So maybe they showed a lack of respect for this Louth side and were looking past this fixture.

They need more than 14 points at home, that isn’t good enough and Louth could have snuck it right at the end with a goal chance. That would have put a spanner in the works.

Roscommon Continue To Impress

Roscommon 1-21 1-11 Sligo

I’ve been very impressed with Roscommon. They put up 1-21 against Sligo and eight scorers from 15 players is a huge return. They controlled play like they did against Dublin.

Enda Smith dictated massively from midfield and kicked five points. He’s their leader and he’s driving them forward and the two Murtaghs were very lively again. I’m so impressed with Ben O’Carroll too, he was brilliant against Sligo.

Galway Not For Stopping?

Westmeath 0-12 0-20 Galway

Galway put up 20 points against Westmeath, but could have probably put up another ten or 15 really, they were the much better side.

They had a great spread of scorers across the team with ten scorers on the day. Shane Walsh got four, Peter Cooke got four, Damien Comer got three and Johnny Heaney got two.

Their midfield is where they really drive it forward and that’s where all their impetus comes from. They are going to top this group and this Galway side don’t look like they’re for stopping.

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