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Dublin brace early in the second half sinks Westmeath

Dublin 2-13

Resilient Westmeath were plucky to the bitter end

Plucky until the bitter end, Westmeath still suffered a Leinster Senior Football Championship final loss to Dublin at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.

Head to head with O'Connor and O'Donnell

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Our man south of the border, Ray Silke caught up with two of the men who could shape the outcome of Sunday's game in Salthill this week, Cillian O'Connor and Gary O'Donnell

Dublin dish out a lesson to Mayo

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If one incident defined how much more Dublin were up for this game that Mayo it was when early in the second half, Aidan O’Shea got in behind the Dublin defence. He stumbled but fed the ball to Mark Ronaldson, who pulled the trigger. But out of nowhere Denis Bastick got back to not only block the ball, but gather it and break clear. It was an outstanding feat of athleticism and brilliance by the Ballymun Kickhams man.

Things can change very quickly

Two weeks is a long time in sport. All of a sudden after two very impressive wins in the National League things look rosy in the Mayo camp as they sit proudly at the summit of division one. We have to be clear on this, Mayo are not going to win every game left in the league (maybe they will). The management are still learning and their most important lesson came when Tyrone visited MacHale Park. You cannot but be impressed by the way they and the players have responded, a thrashing of Monaghan followed by a hard fought win away against Derry in Celtic Park.

Sunday’s showdown should be fun

I am really looking forward to Sunday’s county final, Castlebar and Ballintubber met in the group stages with the Mitchels winning by a single goal but it seems the tides have turned slightly after Ballintubber’s devastating display in the semi-final win over Knockmore. Castlebar seem to have the measure of Ballintubber as of late, but will certainly be fearful of going up against one of the most lethal club forward lines in the country. They will also be reminded that Ballintubber have beaten them in two finals in the last five years. Castlebar have a better defence than Ballintubber but Ballintubber have a better forward line than Castlebar so something has to give.

The cream rises to the top

At least one wish eventually occurred that I was hoping for as the four provincial winners are through to the semi-finals in the football championship, Mayo and Donegal by the skin of their teeth, Dublin and Kerry in a canter. It seems the day of having an All-Ireland winner that comes through the qualifiers is well and truly gone. Not since Kerry navigated their way in 09 have we had a winner through the back door. For the first time in GAA history the four provincial minor winners are also the same as the four provincial senior winners.

Galway footballers have a long road ahead

 

Three things we learnt last Sunday

Mayo can get to another All-Ireland final

Galway need to adapt to the blanket defence

After conceding 3-14 to Mayo, 4-12 to Tipperary, and 1-20 to Kerry in three consecutive championship games, there can be no denying Galway have major issues at the back.

 

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