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Dublin fire warning as Cork serve up a shock over Mayo

By John Campbell

Dublin have lost no time in laying down a marker in their bid to secure their fifth consecutive Allianz Football League crown.

Jim Gavin's side have taken delivery of the title in each of the last four years and given that the manner in which they brushed aside the challenge of Kerry in their opening match at the weekend was much more convincing than the final score of 2-14 to 0-14 suggests, it is clear they have the trophy in their sights again.

The Dubs were without some of their heavy artillery for the contest which will ensure that Gavin will have generous selection options in the weeks ahead.

And Cork, regarded in the past as league specialists, served up a shock to Mayo by romping to an emphatic 1-18 to 0-12 victory.

Former Armagh All-Ireland winner Tony McEntee, who has steered Crossmaglen Rangers to All-Ireland club glory, would now appear to have his hands full as part of new Mayo manager Stephen Rochford's backroom team.

On the hurling front, Antrim got in some useful preparation for the Allianz League when they played two challenge games in Cork at the weekend. The Saffrons beat UCC by 2-14 to 0-14 and lost to the full Cork side by 2-20 to 1-18 but manager PJ O'Mullan afterwards expressed himself "well satisfied" with the overall level of performances.

Meanwhile, new Ulster Council President Michael Hasson has made it clear that he would like to see the Sam Maguire Cup return to the province.

Donegal were the last Ulster side to win the All-Ireland title (2012) and Hasson, who took over from Martin McAviney at Saturday's Ulster Convention, is keen to hit the high spots again.

"I believe that football here in our province is in a very healthy state and I suppose that would be best reflected if we could get our hands on 'Sam' again," stated Hasson.

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