Ray Flanagan previews the Gaa Football Final.
Following a disappointing Gaa football summer viewers will be hoping for a competitive final this afternoon and not another boring stroll in the park for the Dubs.
Dublin got it far too easy in the semi-final against a Tyrone side that was expected to perform better and in all likelihood should face a tougher challenge today. Mayo were not at the races earlier in the season but they have turned a corner in their last few games and deserve plenty of credit for their semi-final replay win over Kerry. On that occasion, the westerners tore into Kerry from the outset monopolising possession and winning the crucial 50/5o balls.
One advantage they have today is their hard route to the final whereas Dublin have had no test all year winning their games without breaking sweat. The funny thing is that the one team to have troubled them in the past few seasons is the green and red and arguably Mayo could have beaten them in both finals last year.
My expectation is that the green and red will be fast out of the traps this afternoon; they will hit hard and go in ferociously into tackles in the early exchanges. Not used to such intensity from their opponents, I think Dublin will be rattled and the chance will be there for Mayo to take control and I expect them to lead at half time.
As the game develops and Dublin unload their bench, you would expect that the likes of Connolly, McMenaman and O Gara combined with the teams relentless galloping nature will swing the game for the sky blues in the second half. Mayo half time/ Dublin full time looks worth an investment, although 7-1 about the westerners all the way is a fair price also if they get their tails up.
It should be a close battle though and hopefully will remain competitive up to the final whistle.
3 pts Mayo to lead at half time-2-1 P Power
1.5 pts Mayo to lead half time-Dublin to win-4-1 P Power
0.5 pts Mayo half time/full time-7-1 P Power