Former Down footballer Marty Clarke doesn’t see any team toppling Dublin in 2018, but believes Tyrone showed there is one potential way to get the better of the All-Ireland champions.
Jim Gavin’s confirmed their place in the All-Ireland SFC semi-finals following their 1-14 to 0-14 Super 8s win over the Red Hand at Healy Park.
A gripping encounter at the Omagh venue stretched the reigning champions to the limit, and they had to call on all their experience and class to make it over the line, with the help of a second half James McCarthy goal.
Mickey Harte’s side finished strongly to cut down a gap that stood at six points at one stage and speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s Saturday Sport, Clarke says the blueprint is there to beat Dublin, though whether anyone is capable of doing so is another matter.
"When Mark Bradley and Kieran McGeary were introduced, it caused Dublin problems, and Tyrone supporters might be wondering why Bradley didn’t start.
"You can’t really do that [attack] against Dublin. You need to start with caution, try to frustrate them, slow down their play, stay in the game for as long as you can and then unleash your bench and go for everything at the end and nick the result.
"That’s the only way I can see Dublin losing a Championship match, even against Kerry or Galway, is if you nick it right at the end."
Despite Tyrone’s endeavour, the former Down star can’t see any team halting the Dubs’ charge for four All-Ireland titles on the trot.
"I thought there was a chink in the armour, but I didn’t see it at Healy Park"
"They just seem to have so much game intelligence, how to move the ball, when to slow it down. How many All Stars do they have coming off the bench? And they have their young talent as well.
"I don’t think they will be beaten this year. That’s not a massive statement. I thought there was a chink in the armour, but I didn’t see it at Healy Park. I think the score line suggested it was closer than it was."