Dublin’s young football panel escaped defeat at the hands of Offaly last night in Parnell Park, ending the O’Byrne Cup tie in a drawn game.
And because Offaly have already handed Dublin’s next opponents Wexford a hefty 3-16 to 0-09 defeat in the competition, it means it’s all to play for this Sunday in Enniscorthy as Clarke will lead his panel out for their final round game.
The Dubs will need to muster a winning margin of 0-16 or more to secure a Semi Final slot as only the winners from each of the four groups can qualify.
As Clarke managed to steer his panel to O’Byrne Cup glory this time 12 months ago, he’s far from throwing in the towel just yet.
“Wexford will not make it easy for us, by no means.” he told RTÉ Sport after last night’s game.
“We’ll go down and give it a shot.”
With the colleges not involved in the competition this year, it means one round game less for each team, so every point is crucial. Last year Dublin secured the top spot in the group, winning two of their three round games. In the final round game they faced Wexford, winning by a 0-03 making, but will need far more than that in St. Patrick’s Park this weekend.
“We’ll put a squad of players on the bus that want to go down and win the game. We always knew we had to win it, now we’re just putting a figure on it, a number on it.”
“If they can keep us to 16 points or 15 points they’ll see that as maybe a moral victory.”
“We’ll look at our players and talk to them, have a bit of a session maybe on Friday and assess how things are going.”