Young Dubs to rise again

by Karl Graham

ST PAT’S Palmerstown’s Liam Rushe believes the county’s young hurling team are still learning their trade and will be a force to be reckoned with in a few years’ time.
The team’s season culminated in a narrow 1-26 to 1-23 defeat to Cork at Pairc Ui Rinn after Chris Crummey was sent off late in the first half.
Palmerstown man Rushe was critical of the referee’s performance in the game, believing both of Crummey’s yellow cards to be harsh decisions.
“Neither of Chris’s yellows would have been yellows the following day in the Leinster final the way it was reffed,” Rushe said at Life Style Sports launch as retail partner of Dublin GAA. “There were lads killing each other and there was hardly a whistle blown.
“It’s just the way it is; you have to read the referee on the day and unfortunately Crummey’s two fouls were very early and you could almost see it coming,” said Rushe.
Manager Ger Cunningham has come in for criticism over selections such as 20-year-old Chris Bennett, who had an excellent game against Cork, but Rushe believes that the team’s misfortunes can be put down to a rebuilding process.
“Last year was Ger’s first year and he inherited a panel. This year, he put his own stamp on it but there were ten Under-21s on the panel. I think four or five of them started and five or six of them featured against Cork so with a team that young, it’s going to take a couple of years.
“We saw the likes of Chris Bennett this year, in the last game he was showing form, Sean Treacy, it’s just waiting for some of those lads to mature and drive on,” Rushe said.
It was always going to be difficult for Cunningham to take over a side who had probably peaked under Anthony Daly after they won the 2013 Leinster Senior Hurling Championship after decades of underachieving and skipper Rushe thinks his new manager had to start back at square one.
“The age profile has gone back again to when I first started so it’s just an unfortunate realisation that we’re in the middle of a rebuilding process at the moment. It’s a process.
“The cycle of the last team under Daly kind of peaked and we were on the decline. But now we’re on the up a bit.
“We’ve been unfortunate at underage level for the last few years but it’s all about bringing through two, three or four underage players from every minor or Under-21 team.
“This year and last year will stand to a lot of them and hopefully we can bring in a few more. We’re not a bad team, it’s just a few things went against us,” said Rushe.

Related Articles