ANTHONY Daly’s Dublin hurlers have been given a massive endorsement from Tipp legend Nicky English as the heat of the Championship challenge gets seriously turned up this weekend. English believes the Dubs are a match for any of the top hurling teams and even believes Daly’s men would be capable of beating Kilkenny in a Leinster final – if they manage to see off Galway this Saturday.
“I was delighted for Dublin and thought it was great for hurling that they won the league. They are better than people think. There is an expectation out there that it was only the league and that that is the finish of Dublin for the year. But I’d be of the view that if Kilkenny play Dublin again this year I’d be surprised if Kilkenny could beat Dublin,” says Tipp’s former All-Ireland winning player and manager. After tipping the Dubs to see off Offaly, English knows Galway will be a stiffer test when their paths cross at O’Connor Park in Tullamore on Saturday evening. Dublin struggled to survive the loss of full back Tomas Brady and centre back Joey Boland in the narrow win over Offaly.
The good news is that Brady is fit again after knee ligament trouble, but that Boland will not recover from a shoulder injury in time.
It will be a case of Daly having one big hole to fill rather than two. Boland remains a massive loss. But, if anything, the potential options at centre back are greater than those at full back. Liam Rushe, Johnny McCaffrey, Maurice O’Brien and even Ryan O’Dwyer are potential options for centre back duty Iarla Tannion and Ger Farragher are two men who have caused the Dubs big problems in the past but they are out injured for John McIntyre. However, he can call upon the mighty Joe Canning who will spearhead the Galway attack.
“Galway will be a difficult one for them but they’ll be there or thereabouts at the business end of the championship,” believes Nicky English. “They will build on the bad experiences they’ve had in the championship in recent years and they need to get to a quarter final or semi final stage, which this year is what their ambition should be and possibly win Leinster if they could. They are capable of it, they have improved a lot, they are physically improving, a lot of them are young and Conal Keaney and Ryan O’Dwyer have helped. “It’s great for hurling and I certainly wouldn’t write them off,” he warned.
The last few weeks since the Offaly game have allowed Alan McCrabbe and David Treacy get more hurling in after missing several months at the start of the year. After hitting 19 wides against Galway when they lost to them in Parnell Park in the league, the Dubs know what’s required. Anthony Daly said during the week that “he is counting down the days” to the game with excitement. The hope must be that his enthusiasm rubs off on the Dubs as they prepare for the Galway hurdle that is between them and a second Leinster senior hurling final in three years.
Article Source: DubHub.ie