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Collum looking for that precious win against champions.

Byline: PAT NOLAN

PADDY COLLUM played in one huge Longford upset of Dublin and, for that reason, has no apprehension about facing them on Sunday.

Just over two years ago, Dublin's under-21 side, who were reigning All-Ireland champions and hotly fancied to retain the title, started their Leinster Championship campaign with a merciless 4-27 to 0-2 win over Carlow to set up a meeting with Longford.

Loose talk about splitting Dublin in two gained momentum once again but the running joke was that it was Longford who should be divided after they scored a sensational 1-6 to 1-5 victory.

"I was in college in Dublin at the time and a few of just tipped down to Parnell Park the week before to watch them play Carlow," recalls goalkeeper Collum (below).

"But we still went up full of confidence, it was our team, after all, that had won the Leinster minor in 2010.

"We were fairly confident of turning them over and just the way that it happened on a wet evening - they got a goal earlier on but we stuck at it and we dug deep. We were there or thereabouts at the end and won by a point."

When Longford won that Leinster minor title in 2010, they lost their opening round game to Offaly by 22 points in the first round, only to beat the same opposition in the final a few months later.

It mirrors the backdrop going into this game - they lost the Division Four League final to Offaly by 13 points only to beat them by three earlier this month.

"I have no fear going up to play Dublin at all," Collum insists. "It doesn't dawn on me. In 2010 Kildare and Dublin played three times in the minor and Kildare came down here to play us and they were already talking about All-Irelands never mind Leinster.

"Our manager said goals win games and we put the ball in there enough times to beat them that day. Then the following year the under-21, we beat the Meath team that were going for Leinster in under-21 since they won it in minor.

"We have always been able to provide a bit of a shock anyway. We haven't just finished Leinster with a win in the end."

Collum spent a number of seasons deputising to Damien Sheridan, who retired last year, and rates him as highly as his opposite number this Sunday, Stephen Cluxton.

"Cluxton is very good like but I have to say Damien Sheridan has been fantastic.

"There was no bad blood when I got playing against Roscommon last year in the first round of the League.

There was no bad blood when he got the second round.

"Damien is all-round, he's a very good keeper too but Cluxton is very good with his restarts. It's a lot to do with the options he has out the field, the runs into space.

"Playing in Croke Park is what I'm looking forward to again because the space when we played Offaly was savage."

CAPTION(S):

SAVE Collum in action at Croke Park last month in Division Four final against Offaly

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:May 29, 2015
Words:524
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