HURLING: Ruthless Cats leave Dubs on backsides

by Gazette Reporter
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Dublin 5-17

Cavan 0-13

By Conor Martin

Micheál Donoghue spoke of his disappointment as his Dublin were well beaten by Kilkenny in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Final on Saturday evening.

Dublin put in an excellent shift during the group stages against Kilkenny and were only beaten by two points at Parnell Park. Kilkenny made the brighter start to the final and even got an early goal and the Sky Blues were chasing the game from then until full-time.

“Yeah, obviously we were very disappointed. I thought, you know, the way we had performed in the last few weeks, obviously, we were trying to replicate that again today.

Eoin Cody of Kilkenny celebrates in front of Dublin goalkeeper Seán Brennan

“You know, we didn’t get the start that we wanted. We were really chasing the game from early on and probably forcing it.

“And then, with a team of the experience of Kilkenny, they capitalised very much on our errors and put us to the sword on the scoreboard, so I just felt we were chasing it from very early.

Dublin had found themselves trailing 2-18 to 0-9 at half-time and needed a faultless second-half if they were to get back into the game, but in honesty, the final was probably done and dusted as a contest by the break, something Donoghue accepts.

“Yeah, I think that’s fair, you know. The goals came at big stages for them, but I think when you’re chasing the game, you know, we were probably making more mistakes than we obviously normally did and the message at half-time is just trying to regroup and hurl the way we have been hurling over the last number of weeks.

Brian Hayes of Dublin in action against Kilkenny players, Adrian Mullen, 10 and Billy Ryan

“I think there were periods we got into it, but ultimately, as I said, we were chasing it from too far out. But look, I thought the lads battled right to the end. The thing for us, we have to dust ourselves down now and get ready to go again in two weeks’ time.

Despite defeat in the provincial final, our hurlers summer is not over yet! We will play either Offaly or Cork in the All-Ireland quarter-finals on the 22nd June. Focus will soon turn to that clash, but Dublin manager Donoghue spoke of allowing his players recovery time from Saturday’s defeat before refocusing and going again.

“Yeah, it is very much focused on recovery. The lads are going to be down and that’s totally understandable, you know, so give them space for a few days and just regroup again next week and kick on again.”

Eoin Cody of Kilkenny celebrates in front of Dublin goalkeeper Seán Brennan after scoring his side’s first goal in the Leinster final. Pic: by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

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