Ryan O’Dwyer regrets the red card which he picked up in Dublin’s defeat to Kilkenny
Ryan O’Dwyer has put his hand up and accepted “full responsibility” for Dublin hurling’s Division 1A relegation predicament.
O’Dwyer believes his second yellow card against Kilkenny last week may have denied Dublin a victory that could have given them something to fight for against Waterford this weekend.
Instead Dublin travel to Dungarvan on Sunday with nothing to play for — except possibly determining who their relegation play-off opponents will be.
If Waterford win and Galway lose to Kilkenny Dublin will then face Galway in the play-off. A Waterford defeat will set up a repeat fixture with Dublin two weeks later.
Whoever it is, O’Dwyer is convinced that the reigning league champions will stay up: “I know that might be a bold statement, but no matter who we’re playing, we feel we’re going to stay up.”
O’Dwyer has regrets about the red card in a game that Dublin eventually lost by a point.
“I take personal responsibility for that,” he said. “It was my stupidity that got us into that position in the first place. I let my head get the better of me.
“I think we would have won that game only for me. I’ll just have to redeem myself , tick the right boxes.
“I was frustrated with both yellow cards. I thought the second one was particularly harsh, that’s my opinion.
“In any game, I’m the type of lad that doesn’t give up on a ball, even if I feel I’m going to come out worse off. I’ll go for it anyway. Unfortunately I lunged in and connected with Richie Power.”
Still, O’Dwyer feels the benefit of a campaign with league matches on four consecutive weekends even though the fatigue kicked in after last Saturday night’s draw.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this. Last year, (if) you played national League, you might have played two games in a row and you’re off for two weeks.
“Then you play another two and you’re off for two weeks. But this year it’s just high-intensity stuff, week after week after week.
“We played Kilkenny there last week; six days later it’s Tipperary. It does take its toll on the legs. I know I’m feeling it anyway, so too is everyone else.
“But still you have to ask yourself the question, where else would you rather be? I’d rather be nowhere else. I’d rather be playing those games, preparing for those games.
“You could argue the point that you could do with a week off here and there. But it’s just great to be playing those high-intensity games.
“You can do all the training you want. You can play all the challenge matches you want. But nothing substitutes for that competitiveness, that high intensity with which we are playing at the moment. And the standard of games is definitely higher than last year.”
– Colm Keys – Irish Independent