Former Tyrone player, Owen Mulligan has identified a key weakness in the Dublin defence that he believes Tyrone must exploit if they are to have any chance of winning the Sam Maguire cup in Sunday’s final.
The two sides have already met this summer, in the second round of the Super 8s in Omagh with the Dubs emerging with a three-point victory. Paddy Power GAA columnist and ambassador, Mulligan was impressed with the Tyrone set-up in the final 10 minutes which resulted in them reduce the gap to just two points and insists they will have to do the same in the All Ireland final.
“They have to play that way from the start. Tyrone had some joy in the last 15 minutes at Healy Park in Omagh because they pushed up. They pushed right up on them and it gave us a bit of belief. I know Dublin took off big players that day but Tyrone had some serious joy when they pushed up and got in their faces. Cluxton couldn’t get a kick out.”
Cluxton and Beggan are probably the best in the country at kickouts and Morgan is the same, he knows how to hit the ball out, but if you push up and give them no options, you can get at them. You have to push up and play them at their own game.”
“If Tyrone are in the game still with 10 minutes to go they have a massive, massive chance because of their physique and their fitness and that’s down to Peter Donnelly.”
While the former All Ireland winner and All Star admits that Dublin are an “exceptional side” with forwards who are “a joy to watch”, he believes that high balls into their full-back line may cause their downfall.
“I think a high ball into the defence can be a weakness. I’m a big fan of Jonny Cooper, big, big fan of him and he takes it to the line.They might not like it but that’s the way it is. I just think a high ball on top of him and on top of Cluxton can work. I’ve seen Cluxton flop a couple of times and I think that’s a way you can get at them.”
“You talk about a masterplan – Richie Donnelly is full forward and he’s a big unit and he’s had joy from high balls – but I think test them and test them early. Put the high ball in. What do you have to lose? Alright, everyone likes a nice wee ball to the chest but put a high ball in to test them because I think they’ve been found out a couple of times. I thought Comer for Galway had great joy with it but they abandoned their gameplan and stopped feeding him the ball.”