DUBLIN hurling captain, Stephen Hiney, has described Monday’s 5-25 trouncing at the hands of Tipperary in a challenge match in Nenagh as “just a blip”, though he admits that the flatness of the Dubs performance is “a bit of a worry.”
Hiney, along with most of Anthony Daly’s league regulars, were blown apart by the Munster champions, leaking 5-25 to the side that they beat by nine points in the league back in February.
However, the Ballyboden St Enda’s clubman admitted at yesterday’s launch of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship that Dublin “never got off the bus” and were blown away by a Tipperary side thirsty for revenge.
“It was a bit of an eye opener alright,” said Hiney. “We went down to Tipperary and they came out firing on all cylinders. They were at championship and we were lagging behind. We stayed on the bus.”
“We just weren’t prepared for the battle Tipp brought last night (Monday),” Hiney added.
“We had a good league victory over them and I’m sure that was in their heads as well. We gave them a nine-point drumming so certainly, that was something that drove them on.”
Hiney, however, was keen to assert the benefits of Anthony Daly’s managerial reign, though he says that it is time for the players to put into practice on the pitch what the Clareman is instilling on the sideline.
“He’s still driving us on brilliantly,” stressed Hiney. “I think at this stage, it’s up to the players. The manager can’t come on the pitch and puck the ball for you. We’re really looking to ourselves to drive ourselves on from the players.”
Despite finishing second from bottom in Division 1 of the NHL, Hiney maintains that Dublin’s spring campaign was a more consistent one that last season.
“I actually think this year’s league campiagn was a better league than last year.,” he reckoned. “OK, we were a bit inconsistent at the start – we were a bit up and down. But the last few performances were much more consistent.”
“We took a lot from that. It was a lot more solid. Hopefully, the game last night (Monday) was just a bit of a blip. We’ll just train hard an put the heads down,” he concluded.