Dublin hurling boss, Anthony Daly, is hoping that the prize of a first All-Ireland SHC semi-final appearance in over 60 years can drive his men to glory in Sunday’s quarter-final against Limerick in Semple Stadium, Thurles (2.0).
Dublin last played in an All-Ireland semi in 1948 when they defeated Antrim – since then they won Leinster titles in both 1952 and 1961 but progressed straight to the All-Ireland final on both occasions.
“We’re under no illusions,” says Daly. “They’re (Limerick) a team that are going well. They’re a very united and a very forthright camp in that they’re all pulling in the same direction after what happened last year.
“The prize is to get a game with Tipp and while people might say after the Munster final that it’s not the sort of thing you should be wishing for, we want it desperately.
“We haven’t been in an All-Ireland semi-final in years, so we would absolutely love to get there and have a crack off them.”
Daly stresses that his team need to up their work-rate from the Leinster final defeat to Kilkenny and get back to the core principles of their blueprint for his team.
“At the start of the year, we committed to working massively hard. We decided that nobody would beat us for work-rate in 2011 and I suppose that’s the thing that would disappoint us about the Leinster final.
“Maybe the occasion got to us, but our core values slipped away a little bit. We have to get back to those values and work like dogs and see where that takes us.
“When all else fails work, graft and effort are the sort of ethics you can fall back on all the time. We’ve spent plenty of time instilling that into our group and it’s something we would hope will be apparent in Semple this Sunday.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s game Daly says his hand has been strengthened by the return following suspension of Ryan O’Dwyer.
“We’re as close to strength as we’re going to get for the rest of this year. Ryan O’Dwyer is back after suspension he has a full season’s training behind him, we would have no worries about tossing him in at the deep end if needed.
“Dave Treacy is back too after his latest injury, but whether there is 70 minutes in is another day’s work. He’s certainly in great form, though, and showed that last weekend when we went down to Thurles to get a feel for the place.
“While he was a loss for the Leinster final and we would have loved to have had him, it gave him the opportunity to work really hard at the fitness there for five weeks and he’s in better shape now than he has been all season. You can see it in him now. He’s that bit leaner and meaner looking.
“It’s the same with Joey Boland. Ok, it didn’t go well for him the last day but he has had the three weeks extra to prepare and he should be in much better form and, in general, we would have more options than we did going into the Leinster final.”
Dublin will announce their team for Sunday’s game after training on Friday night.
Article Source: Hill16.ie