By Aaron Dunne
Dublin senior hurling manager Mattie Kenny praised the defensive work of his team after their sensational victory over Liam MacCarthy Cup hopefuls Galway last Sunday in Croke Park.
A second-half goal from Lucan Sarsfields star Chris Crummey helped seal one of the county’s most famous ever wins, but it was the tenacity of his team’s defending that former Cuala boss Kenny pointed to after the victory.
“We set up very, very defensively, we had to. We were playing a top, top Galway team who carry a lot of attacking threat. They did threaten our goal a lot of times,” said Kenny.
“We stayed defensively solid and we stuck to the process and we kept coming out with that ball. We used the ball well, kept the scoreboard ticking and worked some really good scores. As well as that passion and hunger, we also showed a lot of control in what we did out there.”
“In the first five or six minutes, Galway came really, really hard at us and they’d a few chances. We weathered that initial storm, we got a few scores, got our noses ahead and thankfully managed to keep them there for the rest of the game.
“This group, they’ve been working really, really hard the last two years. Sometimes, the public judge you on results. And they don’t see the work that is going on in the background,” added Mattie.
“Sometimes you can say, ‘we’re making progress and we’re building’. But it’s a results-based game. And that’s what you’re judged on. So today’s result, what it does is, it embeds that effort.
“What I was really happy with was: at times you can get it and just drive it down the field. And Galway were set up to mop that up and come right back at us. But there were times there we played it out of defence. We were brave. They minded the ball well. We used it well.
“No panicking and showing that bravery coming out of defence. I think that’s what got us through the last ten minutes.”
CAPTION – Dublin senior hurling manager Mattie Kenny