Jim McGuiness says Tyrone must disrupt Dubs’ control, sky’s the limit for Limerick

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John Kiely with Liam MacCarthy outside Limerick Colbert railway station. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

John Kiely with Liam MacCarthy outside Limerick Colbert railway station. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

In his column today Jim McGuinness looks ahead to the All-Ireland SFC final between Dublin and Tyrone on September 2nd and suggests the first of two matches - a psychological one - is already well underway. Jim Gavin’s side are chasing five-in-a-row - deploying a patient, possession-based game - and McGuinness believes if this goes unchallenged then Sam Maguire will be staying put. “For me, the key to this match is about control over style. It is very simple. If Dublin retain control, then they will feel no pressure. And they will win.” However, he puts forward that Mickey Harte’s side can find a way to topple the Dubs by using their risk-free, high-percentage style against them - but that this will require thinking outside of the box, and may well be to the detriment of the final as a spectacle. He writes: “You have to remember Dublin are extremists in their possession-based approach now. You have to meet extremism with extremism or you will lose. . . We don’t yet know how extreme Dublin are. My hunch is: very. We don’t yet know how far they are willing to go with this patience-game they have crafted. But my sense is that they will be unyielding. Tyrone must be willing to be equally unbending and unyielding in their approach. It might lead to a farcical and even notorious All-Ireland final. It might also lead to one which Tyrone could win.”

Elsewhere Limerick’s hurlers continue to bask in the glory of their All-Ireland hurling final triumph over Galway on Sunday - the county’s first title since 1973. And manager John Kiely, the man who schemed to bring an end to 45 years of hurt, believes the sky is the limit for his young side: “That’s the challenge for us there now to come back and back this up with consistency, not just within the year but beyond the year. I said it last week, I just wanted the lads to be the best team that they could be on Sunday. Is that the best they’ll ever be? No, they’ll be better.” Meanwhile losing boss Micheál Donoghue paid tribute to his side, while also suggesting the hurling calendar in its current state is still far from perfect: “The reason they are such a great bunch to work with is they are so committed and so determined to be successful . . . Look, they have to go back to the club now and play a lot of club games for the next two or three months so that’s going to take its toll as well. Hopefully when they do get their down time and that builds up the hunger for next year.”

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