5 In A Row - Is It Possible?
Swords Orthodontics has a few connections to Gaelic Football - we support Fingallians and Clann Mhuire, and make plenty of mouthguards for our patients (Stephen Murray thinks that the GAA policy on mouthguard wear was one of the great national dental health measures in history). But specialist orthodontist Donnchadh O Morain is our man in the arena, out every week training and playing and here's his analysis of what's coming up.
This weekend marked the return of the Allianz Football League with Dublin hoping to continue with their winning run and retain the New Ireland Cup.
Mayo and Roscommon opened the Division One campaign in MacHale Park, Castlebar on Saturday night with Mayo taking the spoils by 1 point in a game dominated by wind and rain.
While Dublin traveled to St Tiernach’s Park in Clones to take on the Farney men. Dublin went in to the game with only 6 changes from the team that started the All Ireland final last year, so all in all a very experienced starting line up. Dublin raced into a five point lead and it seemed like they were going to continue where they left off at the end of last season. However Monaghan continued to chip away at the Dubs lead and the turning point came with the introduction of Conor McManus, who in my opinion is probably one of the best forwards in the country at the moment. He used the alteration to the league rules to his advantage to gain a couple of marks as well and set up a goal for Shane Carey. The Dubs made every attempt to come back, with points from O’Callaghan, Costello and Basquel but to no avail, with McManus’s accuracy ensuring the toppling of the All Ireland champions. From a personal point of view I found this very encouraging, Jim Gavin does not go out to lose any match whether it is league or championship and this may be early signs of the decline of one of the greatest football teams, but only time will tell.
The match which was of most interest to me this weekend was the encounter between Kerry and Tyrone in FitzGeralds stadium, Killarney. With the new appointment of Kerry manager, Peter Keane, a crowd of nearly thirteen thousand attended, a considerable number for a league match in Killarney in January. It was Kerry’s new young players that made a significant impression on me, with the likes of Dara Moynihan, Diarmuid O’Connor, Tom O’Sullivan and Adrian Spillane starting strongly and not wilting over the 70 minutes. Sean O Shea delivered some great scores and huge amount of work throughout the game. There were a number of errors on both sides with some poor turnovers, however in general I was happy with what Kerry and Peter Keane delivered.
So at the end of the weekend Kerry beat Tyrone and Dublin lost to Monaghan, two result which I was delighted with, not because I want to see Dublin lose but to make for a more competitive competition and more of a spectacle from a neutral perspective.
Does this mean Dublin will not win the 5 in a row?
Not by a long shot and I would still put them as favourites for the All Ireland.
However it does show that maybe, just maybe, there are chinks in the Dublin armour, but the question now is: who is capable of taking advantage of them ?