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spillane's verdict Daniel Flynn’s brilliant goal is the template for how to take down Dublin – run at them

O’Connor’s troops have sorted defence but forgot that you must outscore Dubs

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Daniel Flynn of Kildare is tackled by Dublin's Cormac Costello at Croke Park on Sunday. Photo: Sportsfile

Daniel Flynn of Kildare is tackled by Dublin's Cormac Costello at Croke Park on Sunday. Photo: Sportsfile

Daniel Flynn of Kildare is tackled by Dublin's Cormac Costello at Croke Park on Sunday. Photo: Sportsfile

Bad enough that Ireland’s Gaelic Footballers drew the short straw and got no back door, but this 2021 Championship is a bit like speed dating – blink and it is gone.

There are now only two more weekends of action in the All-Ireland Senior Championship.

So let’s briefly look back at the two finals of last weekend.

We’ll start with the Leinster Final. Instead of watching it, I would have preferred to record it and then fast forward to the end to discover Dublin’s winning margin.

To be perfectly blunt, the result was never in doubt. Kildare had no ambition to win the match and Dublin were doing their usual keep-ball routine, and sticking to ‘the process’.

Kildare can be happy with their year, they got promotion to Division 1 of the Allianz League for 2022, reached the Leinster Final and, in Daniel Flynn at full-forward, they know they have an unpolished gem.

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Kieran McGeary of Tyrone is tackled by Aaron Mulligan of Monaghan. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Kieran McGeary of Tyrone is tackled by Aaron Mulligan of Monaghan. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Kieran McGeary of Tyrone is tackled by Aaron Mulligan of Monaghan. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Yet Flynn needs help and support. Under Jack O’Connor’s gameplan for last Sunday, he was left isolated with no support for far too long.

All future Dublin opponents please take note, Flynn’s brilliant goal in the second half is the template for how to take down Dublin– run at them!

And finally another plus for Jack this year is that he sorted out his defence.

After conceding five goals to Meath in one Championship outing last year, this year in seven League and Championship games they shipped only two goals and hardly gave the vaunted Dublin attack a sniff of a goal.

I note that in his after-match comments, Jack took a leaf out of the Davy Fitz playbook for these post-match gigs.

Which is to talk about something else, that is mildly controversial, to deflect from the fact that the team you are managing has lost the match.

Last week, Jack had a cut at the critics who, he claimed, disrespected Kildare by predicting they would take a beating in this one.

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Yes, better talk about that than the fact that Kildare came with a defensive plan, which by and large worked, but they also came with no attacking plan at all.

They scored just 1-9 in the game in more than 70 minutes and it is not as though Daniel Flynn is the only forward they have.

If Jack had used them properly, he could have had Neil Flynn, Darragh Kirwan, Jimmy Hyland and Ben McCormack near Flynn and near the Dublin goal. But Jack chose not to.

It is a trap that too many of Dublin’s opponents fall into. Come up with some scheme that makes sure the champions won’t hammer us, but forget that by doing so, you are handing Dublin the victory.

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Kevin Flynn of Kildare tries to shield the ball. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Kevin Flynn of Kildare tries to shield the ball. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Kevin Flynn of Kildare tries to shield the ball. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Because to beat Dublin, you have to outscore them. It’s the most basic thing of all 2-15 would have done it for Kildare last week, they got 1-9, but heir build up play was slow and ponderous.

And, when they did come within three points of Dublin in the second half, instead of pushing on and having a go they showed no ambition after Flynn’s great goal and sat back again. Madness.

Kildare had ten scores in the game from 24 shots, that’s an abysmal 42 per cent conversion rate.

So instead of bothering with diversion tactics in his interviews, Jack might sort out the use of his forwards over the winter.

The Ulster Final last Saturday week, was exciting and the first half saw some excellent points kicked and the result was in doubt up to the final whistle, but this was a very sanitised Ulster decider.

There was none of the province’s usual intensity, physicality or engagement of the lad with the ball, it was modern Gaelic Football tactics at their worst.

No hitting. one team retreats when they don’t have the ball, while the other team tried to find a way around a massed defence.

Frankly it was like watching old-time waltzing with a ball.

I’ll be going into Tyrone’s team and tactics in detail next Sunday when they will face Kerry.

For now, I’ll just say that they were very impressive in the first half against Monaghan.

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Tyrone and Monaghan lacked the usual intensity. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Tyrone and Monaghan lacked the usual intensity. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Tyrone and Monaghan lacked the usual intensity. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Defensively they are solid and their sideline team got their match-ups right.

They cancelled out Monaghan’s danger men, and the Farney’s two flying wing backs, Karl O’Connell and Ryan McAnespie, were not the forces they were in previous outings.

And all that was done with four players unavailable because they had been close contacts of a Covid case. They will all be back for next Sunday.

Still, the All-Ireland semi-final is a free shot for them, they have nothing to lose against Kerry.

As for Monaghan, well they are great warriors who never gave up and put Tyrone to the sword in the third quarter of the game, but couldn’t get the job done in the end.

Where did they lose the game? In the first half where Monaghan had 20 attacks and Tyrone 19.

Out of all that Monaghan got off 13 shots, Tyrone 19 shots.

Monaghan scored only six times, Tyrone scored 11.

And in the last quarter too, when they had Tyrone on the rack at times, Monaghan had eight shots on goal and scored just three of them.

Some of these Monaghan boys have been around for a good while now.

They might not get another shot at an Ulster medal to add to the brace they have.

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