Corkery: Louth are top team in Leinster

Corkery: Louth are top team in Leinster

They may not have the trophy to show for it, but Dublin wing forward Niall Corkery feels that, on current form, Louth are the best team in Leinster.

Corkery, who has been ever-present in the Dublin side this summer, is gearing up to face Louth in Saturday evening's All-Ireland SFC fourth round qualifier at Croke Park.

And while Louth have lost their last 12 Championship clashes with Dublin, stretching back to 1974, it would not be a surprise if the current crop topple Pat Gilroy's men this weekend.

Corkery warned: "Louth are the best team in Leinster this year, but just like we weren't going into the Armagh game thinking, 'this is Armagh, they've won an All-Ireland in the recent years, we don't stand a chance', we're also not going into this game thinking, ‘this is Louth, Dublin traditionally beat them, so we'll be fine.'

"This year you've seen teams breaking from the mould. The would-be favourites from the last few years are crashing out to supposedly lesser teams.

"We’re just looking at Louth's performances this year, which have been very good, and they'll be the best team we've faced this year."

Louth were denied the Leinster title by a controversial goal from Meath's Joe Sheridan, but they have carved out impressive victories over Longford (1-11 to 1-7), Kildare (1-22 to 1-16) and Westmeath (1-15 to 2-10).

Dublin, meanwhile, failed to defend their provincial crown, losing to five-goal Meath at the semi-final stage, although the sharpshooting Bernard Brogan had helped them get back on track with qualifier wins over Tipperary (1-21 to 1-13) and Armagh (0-14 to 0-11).

Corkery, still in his first senior season, is not getting carried away by those recent results. Asked about his county's All-Ireland chances, he replied: "Judging by how we've performed so far in the Championship, I'd say it might be quite a distance (between ourselves and the leading teams) at the moment.

"And I don't think we can really look at winning All-Irelands. I think we just have to take every game as it comes."

Corkery's Kilmacud Crokes club-mate, defender Cian O'Sullivan, is unlikely to play against Louth despite returning to full training with the Dublin panel on Tuesday night.

O'Sullivan has been out of action since damaging his hamstring in the Leinster quarter-final against Wexford last month. The Dublin team and substitutes will be confirmed tomorrow morning.

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