Morris tops betting to be Meath's first goalscorer
Diarmuid Connolly expects Dub's to win in a canter
Six-time All-Ireland winner and Dublin legend Diarmuid Connolly has told Boylesports that he fancies his ex-county teammates to win the Leinster Senior Football Championship final against Meath on Saturday.
“Meath were slow to start against Kildare and up to half-time they weren’t really in the game. Now it was a game of two halves the last day, but Dublin is going to be a completely different animal for them. Meath have been scoring plenty of goals and if anybody is going to beat Dublin this year then I think that’s key," the St Vincent’s man told BoyleSports’ Leon Blanche on Friday.
“Management has to be spot on. I can’t see Meath doing what they have done against Kildare kickouts. They have to push up and dispute Dublin kickouts and win the ball around the middle.
"Shane McEntee gives them a real strength around the half back line. He was turning over savage balls against Kildare and they were getting out of defence. Jordan Morris got another goal and these guys really need to step up now.
"Dublin is a bigger test to what Kildare would have been. Five goals and nine points against Kildare, I don’t see Dublin letting Meath score five goals, and if they can only manage nine points then there is not much chance of them beating this Dublin Machine.”
Ahead of the Leinster SFC clash against Meath, Diarmuid looks ahead at which players are in-form, particularly Corman Costello who scored seven points coming off the bench.
“Me and Cormac are good buddy’s, and he came on the last day against Laois and scored seven points," said Connolly.
"He has magic in his boots, and he has a good eye for a goal and is class off both feet. He has been unlucky with injuries so hopefully he can get a good run under his belt now and push the guys on the starting line up to get one of those jerseys.
“Do you risk starting Cormac, I’m not too sure. I don’t think Dessie Farrell will make many changes, but I’d love to see Brian Howard getting more minutes into the legs and Paul Mannion is back playing.
"Paddy Small wasn’t as effective the last day so could you maybe see Mannion or Costello coming in for Small? That could be an option. Dessie’s team look fairly settled. It doesn’t look like they have had much time off and it’s all systems go for the Dublin Machine,” said Connolly.
Dublin are a short 1/20 to beat Meath and Connolly was on the ball last week when he tipped up Sean Bugler to be Dublin’s first goalscorer at 16/1.
“I see it being a Dublin goal first, Meath will be coming out a little bit tentative and if Paul Mannion starts, I would be looking at him, but Dean Rock is the one for me. I think he is very consistent and is always that guy at the back post and I think he will score the first goal in the Leinster final," concluded the former Dublin player.
Dublin v Meath ~ Match Betting
Dublin v Meath ~ Handicap Betting -12
4-6 Meath (12)
7-5 Dublin (-12)
10 Draw (-12)
Dublin v Meath ~ First Goalscorer
9-2 Dean Rock
11-2 Con O'Callaghan
9 No Goalscorer
9 Sean Bugler
10 Paddy Small
10 Jordan Morris
10 Ciaran Kilkenny
16 Brian Fenton
16 Shane Walsh
16 Cillian O'Sullivan
20 Niall Scully
20 James McCarthy
20 Bryan McMahon
20 Matthew Costello
20 Thomas O'Reilly
25 Bryan Menton
33 Robert McDaid
40 Jonny Cooper
50 Ronan Jones
50 John Small
50 Donal Keogan
50 Tom Lahiff
66 Shane McEntee
80 Ronan Ryan