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Tyrone will have huge say in Sam, insists Gavin

By Donnchadh Boyle

Dublin manager Jim Gavin sees Tyrone as strong contenders to lift the Sam Maguire Cup this year, but he's backing his forwards' firepower to bring Dublin their first Allianz Football League title in 20 years at Croke Park on Sunday.

Gavin and his new-look team are poised for a serious examination of their progress when Mickey Harte's men return to GAA Headquarters six weeks after inflicting defeat on the Dubs.

"I've been very impressed with their (Tyrone's) energy in games. Defensively, they've been very strong. They play a different system to us but they're very hard to break down, very hard to get through," said Gavin.

"When you counter-attack, it can be a big wall that they put up. They've a very strong midfield. For them to get Sean Cavanagh back fit this year has been a big plus for them. I think that's why they've really pushed on this year.

"Stephen O'Neill is obviously back to his very best. Outside of those guys, they have some very good forwards. Six guys scored against Kildare. They have three different free-takers.

"Tyrone will be very competitive in the championship and it would be no surprise for me to see them in the back end of the competition. They're going to have a big say in where the Sam Maguire goes this year."

• Dublin are awaiting a verdict from the Central Hearings Committee after Kevin O'Brien went before a three-man panel.

The Central Competitions Controls Committee (CCCC) last week proposed a three-match ban for the Dublin defender after concluding their investigation into allegations that Donegal forward Paddy McBrearty was the victim of a bite during a recent Division 1 league match in Ballybofey.

O'Brien chose not to accept the ban. The CCCC had been hoping that McBrearty could give evidence at the meeting or through written submission. Photographs of the wound and a report on the medical examination which took place were also thought to be part of the CCCC's case ahead of last night's hearing.

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