Barry Cahill believes Paddy Andrews’ fine performance against Mayo in last Saturday week’s semi-final replay has given Eamonn Fitzmaurice something extra to think about on Sunday.
Former Dublin player Cahill was delighted to see his St Brigid’s club-mate in such mean form as he picked off five points. He reckons Fitzmaurice wasn’t too focused on the 27-year-old before that game.
“He’s kicked 10 points from play in the last three games, which is serious going. I think Eamonn Fitzmaurice maybe wouldn’t have been overly focused on him going into the final up until last Saturday but they will have to do a bit more homework on him.”
Cahill knows Andrew is adaptable in attack but believes he is best utilised “off the front two as a link between 11 and 14. He gets on a lot of ball. What impressed me the last day was how clinical he was.
“He didn’t take too much out of the ball - as soon as he got it he looked and take a score. He did a bit of damage on Keith Higgins which doesn’t happen too often.”
Cahill is hoping Cian O’Sullivan is fit to start considering how much store he places in his ability to fill the centre-back berth.
“I was pretty much saying it for most of the year that I always thought he was going to be the key player for him this year. Going back at centre-back and obviously learning the lessons from the Donegal game last year.
“Ger Brennan is no longer available so he’s been a loss. But with Cian’s flexibility there and versatility, he was always going to be an important player to plug any gaps that might be there in the full back line. He’s always played well in big games as well, you look at the last couple of All-Irelands in 2011 and 2013. If Cian was to miss out... and in fairness he has had some hamstring trouble for two or three years, but he seemed to get over it, the last couple of years.”
The form of Paul Flynn and Michael Darragh Macauley has been unsettling for some Dublin supporters but Cahill isn’t too perturbed. “It was always going to be difficult for Paul this year coming on the back of four All Stars, people are comparing him to such a high standard.
“Paul started working properly for the first time this year so that may have had an effect on him. Also the role he is playing is more defensive. He’s back winning a lot of breaks and was in the half back line a bit more, but on the first day against Mayo he delivered a lot of great ball in the first half.
“For Michael Darragh it’s been an up and down season. I was chatting to him recently and he feels he’s in the best shape of his life.
“He had a good break earlier in the year during the league. The first day against Mayo didn’t go that well for him but the last 20-25 minutes in the replay, he was excellent. I would think he’ll start the final with Denis (Bastick) coming on with 20 minutes to go.”
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