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Derry flag up Dublin flaws and New York tales

An awkward week for a lot of people, especially the columnists. I'm sure we have your sympathy.

We barely have time to digest the weekend's league finals - which included one of the most thrilling games seen at Croke Park for many a year - and suddenly the championship is already upon us.

Westmeath are facing the Mayo conundrum from last year. Taking the field a week after winning a league final and Dessie Dolan is understandably peeved at the situation.

Going forward, it's difficult to see how this situation can be sustained. It's imperative we find a week from somewhere in the cluttered calendar. The whole thing is too squashed.

My reputation as a tipster didn't exactly receive a shot in the arm on league final weekend (at least Laois won to stave off a whitewash).

The one thing that Sunday confirmed is that Derry are right there in the mix for the biggest prize and they are not one bit afraid of Dublin.

In reality, it should never have gotten as far as penalties. Derry scored two second-half goals but they had four more clear goal chances on top of that. They were the far superior team over the course of the 90 minutes of play.

Dublin hung in there and made the most of their lucky breaks. The free at the end of normal time was incredibly soft.

We've all raved about Dublin's scintillating attacking play over the course of the spring but the game probably highlighted some vulnerabilities further back the field that Dessie Farrell may need to examine.

It was significant that the two Derry goals in normal time originated from long kickouts, the ball breaking behind the Dublin midfield and suddenly the Ulster champions had open country in front of them.

On the first, Lachlan Murray broke the ball down with three Dubs rising to