Wednesday March 03 2010
RONAN Fallon yesterday revealed the secret behind Anthony Daly’s management masterstroke which turned a dire defeat by Waterford into a nine-point humbling of Tipperary in just seven days.
“A few lads got a ‘kick up the arse’ more so than anything,” said the St Vincent’s centre-back.
Primitive? Maybe. But effective nonetheless.
“Lads were going out thinking we were better than we were, going out against Waterford and they just wanted it more than us and it showed on the scoreboard. I don’t think the Dublin players believed what was after happening. So last week in training lads just knuckled down and things came right on Sunday.”
Fallon did not play against Tipp after a stomach bug ruled him out, though he was back training last night and will be in contention for a recall against Offaly in Tullamore on Sunday week. Admitting that qualifying for a league final was Dublin’s primary spring objective, Fallon circled the remaining home matches against Cork and Kilkenny as the big ones in their pre- championship programme.
“You’d need to be winning at least four of the last five anyway,” he reckoned when asked what it would take to make the Division 1 decider. “Everyone has lost apart from Galway and Kilkenny at this stage.
“We’re looking more at the home matches and to hopefully take maximum points from the home matches because we’ve been good enough in Parnell in the last few years and if we can pick up a couple of away victories … ” he added.
Central to that ambition will be Dublin’s new kids on the block from ’09: Liam Rushe, David Treacy and Óisín Gough. The trio made an immediate impact on a team in which Fallon was settled and recognised as one of the few blue chip performers, but the size of their contributions seemed to genuinely shock the Vincent’s man.
“Yeah, I couldn’t believe it,” he admitted. “They’re coming in as big as any of the senior lads on the panel and I couldn’t believe how quick they came on to it. They’re flying now and they’re there with the best on the panel. The three of them had great games on Sunday. Liam Rushe caught some amount of ball and ‘Gougher’ kept Eoin Kelly quiet. The three of them are flying it and they’re their positions to lose,” he concluded.
– Conor McKeon