For the first time Dublin have reached the deciders at minor, U21 and senior levels in the same season, with Shay Boland’s youngsters aiming to start the ball rolling on a successful note here. Dublin were troubled for long periods in last Saturday night’s semi-final against Westmeath in Parnell Park before pulling clear by four points.
A late goal by Oisín O’Rorke clinched victory for Dublin with Emmet Ó Conghaile, Ciaran Kilkenny and Cormac Costello also in excellent scoring form. That trio along, with corner-back Eric Lowndes, were all part of the Dublin minor football setup that clinched their spot in the Leinster final with success over Kildare on Saturday night.
Castleknock youngster Kilkenny is a special talent who will require careful monitoring by the Cats rearguard.
Kilkenny, managed by former senior attacker Adrian Ronan, enjoyed a 2-19 to 2-13 triumph over Wexford in their semi-final clash in Wexford Park last Saturday night. Kevin Kelly, a star player in last year’s All-Ireland final triumph, registered 1-10 and his prowess from placed ball situations will be an important weapon in their armoury.
Their team lineup also contains some familiar names with Diarmuid Cody, son of senior manager Brian, lining out at centre-back in last Saturday’s semi-final victory while Richie Reid, younger brother of senior forward TJ, played at left corner-forward.
In terms of the form lines of both teams, it is interesting to note that the pair played each other’s respective semi-final opponents at the quarter-final stages. Kilkenny pipped Westmeath by 2-10 to 1-11, while Dublin were 1-18 to 3-10 victors over Wexford.
That all suggests tomorrow’s clash will be close. But Dublin, particularly if Kilkenny, Costello and Paul Winters are fed a decent supply of possession up front, have the wherewithal to atone for last year’s Leinster final loss to Kilkenny.