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'I don’t think we’ve ever done experimentation': No half-measures for Dublin in Leinster

Wicklow manager John Evans also described Dublin’s strong team selection as a ‘compliment’ to Wicklow.

Dublin defeated Wicklow by a scoreline of 4-25 to 1-11 in Portlaoise on Sunday.
Dublin defeated Wicklow by a scoreline of 4-25 to 1-11 in Portlaoise on Sunday.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

DUBLIN HAD 23 points to spare over Wicklow in O’Moore Park on Sunday afternoon and despite the game playing out predictably, Jim Gavin said it was never an option to field a more experimental team ahead of what will be a busier than usual season with the introduction of the Super 8s.

His Dublin side are seeking a fourth All-Ireland title in a row and wins over Longford in the Leinster semi-final and Carlow or Laois in the final will ensure their place in the new quarter-final playoff stage.

He fielded 11 of the team that started last year’s All Ireland final – and they tore Wicklow apart from the start, leading 4-13 to 1-4 at half time before easing off in the second half, safe in the knowledge that their job was well and truly done.

“I don’t think we’ve ever done experimentation,” said Gavin afterwards when asked.

“Those jerseys are earned, those players that represent the county, 21 players today, earn that right. There were another five players that didn’t partake, and will be bitterly disappointed that they didn’t. I know that hunger will resume next week.”

Brian Fenton scores a goal Brian Fenton is one of 11 to start last year's All Ireland final that featured on Sunday. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

And the Dublin boss said that his side are intent on continuing their powerful provincial form of recent years.

“I think if you ask any of the players, the Leinster championship means a lot to them. It’s their province, it’s where they’re from. They’re going hard at it to win the title this year. There’s no name on the trophy beside the 2018 championship.”

Wicklow manager John Evans knew his side were up against an unstoppable force.

“It was great to get here,” he said. “And we had a right to be here, deserved after beating Offaly, and there was no fluke about it. But coming in against the Dubs, you know they’re a super team and I really take the compliment of the team they selected, it was such a fabulous, strong team that they put out against us.

“And I suppose that anyone could see that the writing was on the wall and we knew that ourselves so it was damage limitation.

“But at the same time I just kept telling our lads to keep playing, keep working at it and had they got the first couple of scores … you know we had four wides inside the first 10 or 12 minutes.

“Having said that, there are so many superlatives you can say about Dublin, they are just strong everywhere,” Evans said.

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