Galway's problem - Stopping the best forward line of all-time 2 months ago

Galway's problem - Stopping the best forward line of all-time

Let's walk a mile in Galway's shoes for a second.

A taxing slog takes you to 40 minutes. Your six defenders have been under siege for every second of the 40. Noelle Healy pressing and probing. Lyndsey Davey dropping and creating. Carla Rowe shooting. Niamh McEvoy going straight for you. Jennifer Dunne doing a bit of everything and Sinead Aherne inside doing damage.

The Dubs have it every way.

But Tim Rabbite's side are resolute. Have been all year. That's why they're here on the biggest stage of all and it's how they give as good as they get and keep it tight back there.

This is just a scenario of course. But unfortunately for Galway, it's a best case scenario. Yes, they may get change going forward. They may knock a few Dubs off stride up top but in a way similar to their male counterparts, Dublin just have two many ways of beating you.

Unfortunately again for Galway, there are still 20 minutes to go.

That's when Mick Bohan takes a look behind him and that's when Dublin usually power away from any opposition.

Oonagh White, that Clann Mhuire rocket is rearing to go. So too is Niamh Hetherton, not only a target but a lynchpin for everything sky blue. Bohan unleashes the firepower and Galway have even more to worry about. That's when the creaks and cracks appear.

It's impossible to keep these Dublin forwards out for the full hour.

With Mick Bohan naming his starting 15 for Sunday's All-Ireland senior ladies football final, here's how the Dublin forwards will line up.

There are two chances of them staying that way. None and nil. The best thing about this brilliant Dublin unit is their fluidity. Everyone of the six can play in the various forward positions. Bohan however, has them all tuned to their best frequency.

So that's why you'll see Lyndsey Davey, the Skerries dynamo drifting out deep. With her seemingly bottomless engine, she relentlessly gallops around the middle third, constantly offering herself for a pass out of defence. Then always tearing forward and creating things when she gets it.

Niamh McEvoy runs the line and is always a willing link-woman when Davey drives forward. Sometimes she gives it in, sometimes she takes on the baton and runs at the heart of them.

Jennifer Dunne is well used to playing out towards the middle of the field and she takes up Davey's station. Inside, Aherne and her partner in crime are dancing in the freed up space.

McEvoy goes in and out. Carla Rowe stays put in the wide open spaces vacated by her teammate.

And that's where the shooting opportunities arise. Rowe has made a name for herself with her long-range points this year, she has managed six of them with majority coming from a charge at the goals from her right half forward position. There are few better finishers in ladies football.

And what makes Dublin's slick attacking unit even harder to stop is the uncertainty of it all. Looking back at their games this season, each one of them is fluid and inter-changeable bar Sinead Aherne, who generally remains inside with one teammate for support.

Galway's defence is one of the meanest in the land. Sarah Lynch and Nicola Ward have been rocks in the full back line while Barbara Hannon is an expert reader of the game in the centre. On the wings, Shauna Molloy and Orla Murphy are pacy operators going forward and they will cause problems.

But the likelihood is that Dublin will cause more.