Kevin O’Brien reports from Croke Park
DUBLIN ARE UNEXPECTEDLY out of the hunt to retain their Division 1 crown after their three-point defeat to Tyrone last night.
The league champions head into their final game against Cavan next weekend with six points, one behind Tyrone and two back from Mayo and Galway.
Kerry sit on top of the table with 10 points despite their loss to James Horan’s side in Tralee yesterday.
The Red Hand face Galway in their remaining fixture so one of those sides will finish on nine points – making it impossible for Dublin to finish in the top two.
Division 1 round 7 fixtures:
Cavan v Dublin
Tyrone v Galway
Roscommon v Kerry
Mayo v Monaghan
The five-in-a-row chasing side were well short of their best. Ciaran Kilkenny was their only player to score more than a point from play on a night where Tyrone’s defence matched up very well with the Dublin attack.
In his post-game briefing with the media, Jim Gavin didn’t pull any punches in his assessment of their third defeat in six games.
“That level of performance from the Dublin players certainly is not good enough, at this level you’ll be found out,” he stated. “Tyrone were fully deserved winners tonight.
“Our passing was certainly off in many phases of play. Our shot selection was very poor. Against a quality side like Tyrone they are going to punish you at the far end and they got some great scores and as I said, fully deserved winners.
“We have nine weeks now to run to championship, you take every game on its merits, you want to do well in every game you play in the league because they are quality games.
Jonny Cooper and Con O’Callaghan tackle Kieran McGeary.
Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO
“But certainly a performance like that will certainly give the management team a lot to reflect on and certainly give the Dublin players a lot to reflect on because that just isn’t good enough.”
Tyrone’s inside pair of Mattie Donnelly and Cathal McShane had the Dublin full-back line on edge all night. The Ulster side looked to hit their full-forward line with early deliveries and the 1-7 tally Donnelly and McShane contributed told its own story.
“You see the quality they have and even their finishing team was very, very strong.
They’re a very skilful side and when they play that kicking game they’re very effective as we’ve seen tonight and in other games we’ve played in the league. They’re still a class side.”
After the win over Galway at Croke Park, Gavin said his team were still in “pre-season mode” but didn’t use their late start to the year as an excuse for the latest loss.
“No, we’re on track for our plan and what we want from this season. We’ve taken every…..we don’t just shoehorn cut, copy and paste our plan from one season to the next, we look at our priorities and we’ll adapt accordingly.
So we’re exactly where we want to be, we’re on target, in terms of fitness certainly fitness didn’t lose us that game today, just a better quality side.
“Obviously Tyrone are smarting from last year and they looked really up for tonight’s game and played some outstanding football. We can have absolutely no complaints, I thought it was a very polished performance by Tyrone.
“We plan for the seven games and if we get an extra game after it really is a bonus for us. We’ll approach the Cavan game with as much diligence and intention and respect for Cavan as we do for every other team, even though it’s our last game.
“We’ll just get what we can out of this game and with that we’ll have eight weeks to run to championship and we’ll be on plan.”
Paddy Andrews is taken off with a blood injury.
Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO
He confirmed Paddy Andrews was taken to hospital after he shipped a heavy blow to Niall Morgan during the second-half. Cormac Costello and John Small left the action due to injury in the opening period, with Costello nursing a knee injury.
“It doesn’t look too serious to be honest, from speaking to Cormac,” said Gavin.
“So that’s all I’ll say. I’m always hesitant in the immediacy of a game, just need to let it rest and see what the medics say.
“We’ll just need to assess…our medical protocols are we give them 48 hours to let them be reassessed there. But Paddy was taken to hospital with a head injury so we’ll just have to wait and see what comes from the hospital.
“You are always disappointed for the players that pick up knocks.”
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