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“I think Dublin can be potential dark horses”

Ciaran Carey and John Meyler preview Carlow v Dublin in the All-Ireland SHC preliminary quarter-final round at Dr Cullen Park

Ciaran Carey and John Meyler preview Carlow v Dublin in the All-Ireland SHC preliminary quarter-final round at Dr Cullen Park.

John Meyler and Ciaran Carey both expect Dublin to have too much for Tom Mullally’s Carlow this weekend.

The Dubs have been beaten just once during this championship, performing well when coming up short by six points against Kilkenny.

Otherwise, Micheal Donoghue’s side have shown plenty of promise during his first season in charge, with Donal Burke, Danny Sutcliffe and Cian Boland all showing glimpses of their class in attack.

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Victory away to Carlow would set Dublin up for an All-Ireland quarter-final clash with Clare, and former Barrowside boss Meyler expects that to materialise without much fuss.

“I don’t think so,” says Meyler of the game being close.

“I saw Carlow against Offaly in the Joe McDonagh final and they were good, but they’re reliant in a way on Marty Kavanagh for a lot of their scores from frees and play.

“I think Dublin have benefitted hugely from moving to Croke Park.

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“This thing of playing their matches in Parnell Park used to drive me bonkers… they have got exposure to the bigger pitch.

“Now they’re in Dr Cullen Park on Saturday and I think Micheal really has to deliver this year in terms of Dublin.

“Playing those Leinster championship matches at Croke Park will be of benefit.”

Carey was forthright in his praise of the Dubs last week and believes there is a lot more to come.

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“In the past, they have been inconsistent and the so-called weaker teams have tended to shove it into Dublin,” says the Limerick man.

“But what I saw of Dublin this year and in the first half against Galway, I thought it was an outstanding performance.

“If they can maintain that, I think they could be dark horses.

“Maintaining it is one thing, but taking action and delivering is another thing.

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“So they appear to be different this year, they have a lot of new hurlers, their spine is good, their full-back (Eoghan O’Donnell) is top-class, their centre-back (Conor Burke) is very good, and upfront they are capable of hurting anyone.

“So I believe if they come with the right frame of mind against Carlow, the result should look after itself.”

Carlow arrive at the preliminary quarter-final stage as Joe McDonagh Cup champions, having beaten Offaly in extra-time in the final. Dublin finished third behind Galway and Kilkenny in the Leinster ‘round robin’.

Carlow and Dublin last met in the championship in 2019 when Dublin won by 2-22 to 1-13 in the Leinster ‘round robin’. Prior to that, they hadn’t met in the championship since 2000.


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  • Antrim 1-19 Dublin 1-19
  • Dublin 2-23 Westmeath 1-14
  • Dublin 1-22 Wexford 0-23
  • Kilkenny 0-27 Dublin 0-21
  • Dublin 2-22 Galway 1-25


  • Carlow 5-23 Kildare 0-19
  • Kerry 0-21 Carlow 0-21
  • Carlow 1-22 Laois 1-22
  • Carlow 6-23 Down 0-28
  • Carlow 1-29 Offaly 0-14
  • Carlow 2-29 Offaly 1-31 aet (Final)

Dublin won two, drew two and lost one of their five Leinster SHC games.

Carlow won four and drew two of their six Joe McDonagh Cup games.

Dublin were last in the preliminary quarter-final in 2019 when they lost to Laois by two points.

Carlow were last in the preliminary quarter-final in 2018 when they lost to Limerick.

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