/ GAA

First real test for Dublin and Jim Gavin according to Bernard Flynn

Updated: Sunday, 28 Apr 2013 12:44 | Comments

Tyrone last won the league in 2003
Tyrone last won the league in 2003

Dublin hope to end a a 20-year wait for the Allianz Football League Division 1 crown when they meet Tyrone in the final in Croke Park.

The Dubs have had a fine league campaign, with the standout feature from the semi-final win over Mayo being the number of chances created, and throughout the regular series they tormented several sides, averaging 1-16 so far this year. 

Tyrone have almost been as consistent, with five wins and the dismissal of Kildare in the semi-finals.

They themselves are without a league crown for a decade and will fancy their chances of toppling the Dubs for the second time this year already in Headquarters.

Conor Gormley, Sean Cavanagh and Stephen O’Neill featured in that league final win over Laois 10 years ago and they start this Sunday’s decider.

Joe McMahon is back from a thigh problem that forced him to miss the win over the Lilywhites.

Justin McMahon and Paddy McNiece also come into the team.

Rory O'Carroll, James McCarthy, Kevin Nolan and Michael Fitzsimons could feature for Dublin but Ciaran Kilkenny is ruled out.

Speaking to RTÉ this morning, former Meath star Bernard Flynn said the defeat in the earlier league encounter could spur Dublin on: "There could be a element of revenge. It is the first real test for the Dublin guys under Jim Gavin.

"They will not want to lose two on the bounce to Tyrone so it is really a great final to look forward to.

"The new players from Dublin and the way Mickey Harte has mixed it up greatly over the last number of weeks means it is all to look forward to. It should be a good expansive game.

"There was only a point in it the last time, I think Tyrone bullied Dublin more than the scoreline said so."

This could be as close as the first meeting with both sides likely to have periods of domination after looking the most complete in the country at this stage of the season. 

Regardless of revenge from the March clash, it might just rid complacency at crucial times of the game and the Dubs could just squeeze home.

Verdict: Dublin

Live radio coverage of the Allianz National Leagues from 14:00 on Sunday 28 April on RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ RnaG and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide). Highlights of all the weekend’s Allianz League action on League Sunday on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only) from 19:30.

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