Cormac Costello Has Given Jim Gavin Plenty Of Food For Thought
Cormac Costello has been on fire in the last couple of games and given Jim Gavin food for thought when he sits down to select his team for Saturday’s Semi Final.
The question though is, does Gavin start the Whitehall Colmcille’s man against Galway in the semi final or does he hold him as an impact sub.
Costello has certainly put his name in the hat with a scoring return of 0-15 (0-13 from play) in his four appearances in the championship so far.
Of those four appearances, three have been as a second half substitute, the first of those against Laois in the Leinster Final where he bagged 0-04, against Donegal scoring 0-02 and in the Tyrone fixture the only game he has failed to get on the scoresheet.
Cormac took full advantage of a rare start against Roscommon last weekend finishing with 0-09 to his name with 0-07 coming from open play.
Even in that game he didn’t play the full 70 plus minutes as he was replaced in the 47th minute perhaps with this weeks semi final in mind.
Costello Is The Forward Bang In Form At The Moment
Comparing the scoring rate of Cormac Costello against both Paul Mannion and Con O’Callaghan would indicate that he is probably the forward bang in form at the moment.
Both Mannion and O’Callaghan started in all of Dublin’s 2018 championship games bar the Roscommon fixture and Mannion scored 1-04 in those five games and O’Callaghan has scored 1-07.
Combined that’s a total of 17 points between them, just two points more than Costello’s total and also both Paul and Con failed to register a single score between them against either Donegal or Tyrone.
First of all this is not a criticism of either player as they have both put serious shifts in for the team throughout the championship.
Against the above named teams who play overly defensive systems and counterattack, both Mannion and O’Callaghan put in phenomenal defensive displays tracking players which probably had an impact on their effect at the other end of the field.
Both were rested against Roscommon and both players probably needed a break, particularly O’Callaghan who has played non stop for at least three years between U21, Senior, College and club hurling commitments.
That rest may see both players back to their sparkling scoring best, but you also can’t ignore the number of scores that Cormac Costello has accumulated playing less game time.
Costello has been plagued with injuries over the last few years which has curbed his involvement somewhat, but enjoying an injury free run he is showing exactly what he can offer to Dublin.
No One Ever Doubted The Talent Of The Player
No one ever doubted the talent of the Whitehall Colmcille player he just never got the opportunity to show it on a consistent basis.
Hence his recent performances have certainly given the Dublin manager something to think about ahead of Saturday’s tussle with Galway.
The Tribesmen’s style of play of course may sway the decision as to wether Costello starts or not.
Galway play a similar system to teams from Ulster and Gavin will have to way up if that type of game will suit to put Cormac into the starting 15 or bring him on in the second half when bodies and minds have tired.
If Costello was to start it would probably be for either Mannion or O’Callaghan, Gavin may feel against Galway that his forwards will need to do a lot of tracking back and defensive work.
He might be of the opinion that Mannion and O’Callaghan offer more defensively than Cormac does and if that’s his thinking he will use both from the off until one runs out of steam and then introduce a fresh, hungry and inform Costello to finish the job off.
Furthermore Galway may believe that Mannion and O’Callaghan are definite starters and prepare tactics to deal with them and consequently throwing in Costello at the beginning may throw off their game plans.
There are plenty of positives for starting Cormac Costello on Saturday and plenty for Gavin and his back room team to pounder when they sit down to discuss their starting 15 for the game.
One thing though is for certain, whether Costello starts or not, he is sure to have an impact and play a major role in the outcome of the semi final when introduced.