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Efficient Dublin remind Harte they won't give up crown easily

By John Campbell

It is a measure of the progress which Mickey Harte's restructured side has made that Tyrone have been projected into the limelight as best-equipped to unseat Dublin as All-Ireland senior football champions.

And it was Harte who had more reason than most to digest Dublin's initial foray into this year's Championship series when they beat Laois by 2-21 to 2-10 at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny.

Jim Gavin's side might have been expected to totally overpower their opponents but if they did not operate on another planet, they nonetheless provided Harte and every other manager with viable designs on Championship glory with some interesting statistics.

Three players contributed the lion's share of the score with Dean Rock finishing top with 1-10, Diarmuid Connolly contributing 1-4 and Ciaran Kilkenny registering 0-4.

Paul Cahillane and Stephen Attride landed the Laois goals on a day when their tenacity and spirit kept them in touch after the Dubs had threatened to engage overdrive when they landed two early goals.

Tyrone will meet Cavan in the first of the Ulster Championship semi-finals on Saturday week at Clones (2pm) when the game will be preceded by the Ulster minor semi-final between Derry and Armagh (12pm).

The second semi-final between Monaghan and the winners of next Sunday's last quarter-final between Fermanagh and Donegal has been fixed for Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan on Saturday June 25 (7pm).

This will be preceded by the second minor semi-final between Donegal and Monaghan (5pm).

Belfast Telegraph

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