Minor hurlers looking forward to All-Ireland semi-final
Dublin minor hurlers face reigning All-Ireland champions, Galway, in their Electric Ireland All-Ireland MHC semi-final this Saturday in Croke Park (3.0), the game is the curtain-raiser to the senior clash of Galway and Clare (5.0).
Dublin minor Mike Connolly knows his side face a serious test as the Tribemen have impressed in their victories over both Limerick and Kilkenny.
“There is no doubt that they will be favourites and rightly so as they have been very impressive in their two matches to date.
“They have been one of the teams earmarked at the start of the year to be potential winners and the manner in which they got over both Limerick and Kilkenny won’t have changed that.
“We know the challenge that is in front of us but it is one that we are really looking forward to.
“I feel that we have improved a fair bit since the start of the campaign but we are under no illusions that this is a step up in terms of the quality of the opponent but this is exactly what you would expect at this stage of the championship,” says Mike.
“We are playing a very strong Galway team on Saturday and the lads know that they have to go out and perform.
“We have played well to get where we are at the moment but we are under no illusions that will not be good enough to beat Galway at the weekend.
“We will have to be better again but there is faith in the team that we can show the required levels of improvement.”
Dublin have been ‘idle’ in terms of championship action since their Leinster MHC final victory over Kilkenny a month ago so will be determined to hit the ground running this Saturday.
“To be honest, I don’t think that it’s too much of a disadvantage not to have played in a month.
“We have been training away and naturally, we wouldn’t have had any matches during that period but given the quantity of games that we had leading up to the Leinster final, I feel that a break was probably required,” adds Mike.
“We were on a run for a decent length of time and having played six competitive matches in nine weeks, the break probably came at the right time for us.
“We were at fairly full blast for the best part of two months so it was a good opportunity for both the players and management to have a break from championship action and the training aspect has been very important in bringing the lads on.
“Going to Croke Park is something for everyone to look forward to and none of the four teams left in the championship have played there previously so it shouldn’t be an advantage for any of them.
“Dublin have appeared in a fair few semi-finals over the past number of years so it’s nothing new for the county. And while the experience will be a new one for our panel, I’m sure it’s one that they will enjoy being part of.”