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Colm Cavanagh tells Dubs to follow Tyrone's example

By Declan Bogue

Published 19/09/2015

Up close: Colm Cavanagh takes on Kerry ace Anthony Maher
Up close: Colm Cavanagh takes on Kerry ace Anthony Maher

Tyrone's Colm Cavanagh believes Dublin can expose Kerry's defensive limitations in tomorrow's All-Ireland final by adopting aspects of the Red Hands' performance in their semi-final defeat to the Kingdom.

Mickey Harte's men lost by four points in last month's clash, but were left to rue a series of spurned goal chances that might have led them to feature in tomorrow's showpiece.

While they displayed a lack of composure when confronted with their chances, their overall system was highly impressive and they exposed a lack of pace in the Kerry defence.

"I think the one area Dublin will look at from our game is the direct running down through the middle and the directness that we presented them with. It did cause them problems," said 28-year-old accountant Cavanagh.

"From their point of view, they will certainly look to emulate a certain element of what we did in our game. Dublin are a very direct running team anyway. They will no doubt look to do that in the final."

There is nothing new in how Dublin manager Jim Gavin retains a number of players to introduce from the bench once the game becomes a little more ragged and open, but perhaps the sheer arsenal at his disposal has affected how opposing managers approach the threat of the Dubs.

Assessing the contribution of subs including Kevin McManamon and Michael Darragh Macauley in the semi-final replay against Mayo, Cavanagh continued: "The lads who came on the last day changed the game and brought a new dynamic to the game, coming down the middle. The likes of Michael Darragh and Kevin McManamon."

But he is also keen to recognise that Dublin have become a defensive animal when required, with Cian O'Sullivan now in a sitting role, screening in front of the opposition attackers.

"The way that Dublin are looking at it too, they have realised after last year's game against Donegal, they have to present a strong defensive game as well," said Cavanagh.

"That's the reason for having the likes of Denis Bastick sitting in there. Although he might not be as effective as Michael Darragh Macauley coming down the middle, he provides a certain amount of cover for them throughout the game.

"Getting that balance right is going to be key for Dublin and they'll have been doing that in the last few days and seeing what suits them best."

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