Derry possess the firepower to trouble Dublin
Ulster champions look a more solid and consistent outfit than their rivals
Delighted Derry players celebrate their 0-18 to 1-14 victory over Tyrone at Celtic Park. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Presseye/Inpho
Dublin will seek to advance to their first All-Ireland minor football championship final in five years when they face Derry in Croke Park tomorrow afternoon (2.00).
While the Dubs have enjoyed a wealth of success at senior and U- 21 levels in recent years, their record at U-18 level is relatively disappointing with that 2012 Leinster triumph over Meath their solitary title since 1984.
Tomorrow’s contest hands Dublin a great opportunity to progress to a final meeting with Kerry although Derry will be equally confident of prevailing after an Ulster championship campaign they dominated from the outset.
They were buoyed by a narrow 0-18 to 1-14 win over a fancied Tyrone side initially and eased past both Antrim and Cavan with high-scoring and compelling performances.
They don’t seem too reliant on any one player for scores with Richie Mullan, Ben McCarron, Lorcan McWilliams and Paddy Quigg all chipping in regularly and the wide expanses of Croke Park may suit their propensity to attack.
Dublin are no shrinking violets in that regard either with James Doran, Ross McGarry and David Lacey match-winners in their own right but their attacking unit malfunctioned alarmingly in their laboured All-Ireland quarter-final victory over Clare earlier this month.
Consistency has eluded them during games, most notably in their first round Leinster win against Meath in which they trailed by ten points at half-time, and they took the foot off the gas in the second-half of the Leinster final against Louth, albeit with the benefit of a 2-11 to 0-5 interval lead.
That same trait betrayed their collective talents against Clare and there is no question Derry possess far more firepower to punish these inconsistencies than the Banner lads were able to muster.
In truth, the Ulster champions will also seek marked improvement after they struggled to get over the line against Sligo in their last eight clash, eventually, and perhaps fortunately, prevailing by 1-13 to 0-15.
Assuming they have rectified the issues from their quarter-final, Derry look a more solid and consistent outfit and could well trouble a Dublin defence that has yet to be truly tested.