“Aidan O’Shea Will Bounce Back in All-Ireland Final” – Diarmuid Connolly
Dublin legend Diarmuid Connolly spoke to BoyleSports’ Leon Blanche this week about the All-Ireland SFC final between Mayo and Tyrone.
The St. Vincent’s man believes there is nothing between the two finalists, but insisted Aidan O’Shea will play his part for favourites Mayo.
He said: “I don’t believe Aidan O’Shea won’t start this final. He is their captain and go-to guy. It didn’t happen for him the last day, but he was winning savage balls inside against Dublin and it was like he froze in the moment. It never really got going for him, but I have no doubt he will bounce back. He will start the game, but whether James Horan gives him the curly finger early on or not we will have to wait and see.
“For me the standout performer in this Tyrone team is Padraig Hampsey. He is the heartbeat; his work rate and energy is unbelievable. He epitomises this Tyrone defence and their transitions.
Connolly also said he wouldn’t be surprised if the sides finished level at full-time:
“I don’t think anyone at the start of the year would have picked out a Tyrone v Mayo final. It’s a strange one for me as Dublin have been involved in some way for the last ten years, but both teams are there on merit;
Mayo deserved to beat Dublin and similar with Tyrone beating Kerry. Both performances were unbelievable.
“Tyrone had some team problems during the league, but they are really coming to the fore now and they have built a really strong bench. Mayo’s squad had been depleted and James Horan came in and done a massive rebuild job and has found talent all over the field.
“They are two evenly matched teams and I don’t think anyone will shoot the lights out. There is going to be a lot of hard tackling and I can’t separate these teams. The odds have been slashed on the draw at 7/1 as previous years it was always about 12/1 or 14/1. We saw the two semi-finals finish in draws and I think that’s what we will see here.”
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Watch Diarmuid Connolly’s full All-Ireland Final Preview Video here.