Limerick manager John Allen believes Dublin’s hurlers have improved this year.
The Metropolitans endured something of a blip last season, having won the league and reached an All-Ireland semi-final the previous year. However, they’ve gained an instant return to Division 1A (at the Treaty County’s expense) and Allen hopes (mainly for Limerick’s sake!) that this is a sign of progress:
“For Limerick it is year three of the present set-up; for Dublin it is year five of Anthony Daly being there and the professionalism he brings,” Allen is quoted in The Irish Times.
“The exceptional dual players seem to be going with the football, which is definitely a disadvantage.
“Whether Dublin are good enough or not remains to be seen. Being out of 1A is definitely a disadvantage. They went into last year’s league with great expectations but ended up with a whimper. There were a lot of injuries so we were all expecting them to be much better in the championship and they weren’t.
“Have they improved that much this year? I think they have but maybe that is because I want to believe they have because of the way it would reflect on Limerick.
“It’s hard to know. They were really efficient against us in Croke Park, apart from scoring, and then you saw them the second day against us, on the back foot certainly for the first half, but when the chips were down they stayed with us and ground out a victory.
“That’s what you want to see when teams are equally matched. We saw it in the All-Ireland final last year and semi-finals over the last few years; grinding it out.
“A lot of the games are being decided in the last ten minutes … unless you get Kilkenny on a good day, when they decide it in the first ten minutes.”