Eight-time All-Ireland winner Juliet Murphy believes that the Cora Staunton factor will give Mayo the advantage when they take on Dublin in this year’s TG4 All-Ireland Ladies final at Croke Park.
Dublin have plenty of experience at this stage, having played in and lost the last three finals.
For Mayo this in their first final in ten years and they had to beat the all-conquering Cork side in the semi-finals to book their place in Croke Park.
Murphy has plenty of experience against both sides and while she admits that Dublin are the favourites, she has a sneaking suspicions that they’ll suffer a fourth consecutive final defeat on Sunday.
Mayo have already got the better of Dublin this year, beating them by a point and while the Dubs have experience on this stage, Murphy believes that the Mayo are just as well equipped to handle the pressure.
Looking at the Dublin side, she told RTÉ Sport: "I think they have 13 players that played last year that starting on Sunday which is certainly an advantage.
"But it’s important to note that earlier in the year when Mayo and Dublin played in the league, they played in Croke Park.
"That will be an advantage to those young Mayo players, they have the experience of going into the dressing room and coming out and playing in front of a large crowd, that will stand to them a little bit.
"You have the likes of Cora, Fiona McHale and Yvonne Byrne, those players have huge experience and they’ll settle the younger players."
Staunton was instrumental is her side’s semi-final victory over Cork, scoring 1-09, and another All-Ireland medal would be a fitting reward for a player who is considered by many to be the best in the game.
"Cora to me is the best player who has ever graced a ladies’ football field. She’s a fantastic player and person," Murphy said.
"This year in the forward line she’s being well assisted by Grace Kelly and Sarah Rowe. There was a time when players could get back and drop into the ‘D’ and three or four players would surround Cora but I think it’s a bit different this year.
Reaction from Dublin and Mayo ahead of another All-Ireland prize in the TG4 senior final pic.twitter.com/2mPE66UwcB— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) September 19, 2017
"That’s a little bit different to Mayo from what we’ve seen but I don’t think just one player can mark Cora on Sunday, it’s just not feasible. She’s a phenomenal player and she’s unstoppable on a one-to-one.
"I do fancy Mayo. In the middle of the field Aileen Gilroy had a fantastic game against Cork, she’s really athletic and goes forward all the time.
"I think that’s going to be a really interested battle with Fiona and Aileen against Lauren Magee and Olwen Carey and I think if they can get on top there they have a really good chance of winning.
"I think Mayo have enough to get over the line and I think they’ve maybe had a harder test with Donegal and Cork to get the final."
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