Gaelic Football Reaction: ‘Still Question Marks Over Dublin’ – Connolly
We have gaelic football reaction and opinion for you from our ambassador Diarmuid Connolly as he looks back at National League finals weekend.
Question marks over Dublin
Goals win games and Dublin took off in the second half. They hadn’t been creating too many goal chances this season, but they created plenty in the final and took four of them. They had a plan for Brendan Rogers because he wants to go direct, but Dublin had three or four lads around him.
Derry were very ponderous in their attack too whereas Dublin were more direct. Con O’Callaghan had an unbelievable game and it’s great to see.
Dublin are building a decent squad with a lot to come back in, so I’d be quietly optimistic about the season ahead. But there are still question marks for me. I know they scored four goals, but ten scores in a game isn’t going to get you far. Six points isn’t good enough for me, they were very wasteful in front of goal.
Derry had a great campaign, but Croke Park was just a step too far for them. I still think they’ll bounce back against Fermanagh in the Ulster championship.
Despite the questions marks still hanging over Dublin they are now just behind Kerry for All-Ireland favouritism at 9/4.
Looking good for Mayo
Mayo got over the line against Galway, but not really convincingly. Colm Reape was man of the match as a goalkeeper and that says a lot. But they have squad depth to come in.
Tommy Conroy came on in the second half and made a massive difference and they’re holding Cillian O’Connor back. They had their homework done, they’re mean at the back and they have some sharpshooters up front, so it’s looking good for Mayo (who are now into 5/1 to win the All-Ireland in 2023).
It’s three trips to Croke Park for finals and three defeats for Padraic Joyce. But they won’t take too much out of the league final result. They will have home advantage in the Connacht semi final and that’s huge – Pearse Stadium is a hard place to go.
They have a couple of weeks of hard training to get the likes of Comer, Walsh and Finnerty sharp. They’re the guys who are going to win the games for Galway. But the big question mark this season will be – can they perform in Croke Park?
Despite three final losses at Croke Park for Galway in recent times they are down to 6/1 to go one better than last year and lift the Sam Maguire in 2023.
Red Hand under the radar
Tyrone stood out for me in the league. They started really poorly but they stayed in Division 1 comfortably and I just fancy them in Ulster this year.
They’re coming in under the radar and people are underestimating them. But their squad depth is huge, they’re starting to build something and their full forward line looks solidified. Nobody has been giving them a chance because of the way they were playing at the start, but I think they’re sitting pretty now.
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