Uncertainty surrounds Conal Keaney’s Dublin future
Conal Keaney’s inter-county future appears to hang in the balance with the veteran dual star yet to feature for Dublin in the Championship.
Keaney featured in both county finals for Dublin but didn’t make the 26 for either of Dublin’s Leinster ties against Laois or Kilkenny.
Having recently turned 38, and with Dublin only guaranteed of one more game in the Championship, the Ballyboden St Enda’s great could be close to the end.
Dublin manager Mattie Kenny explained that Keaney “had some knocks coming back, he had a very heavy club championship”.
Keaney’s club and county colleague, Paul Ryan, hasn’t featured yet either due to a quad problem.
“He’s back in training for the last two weeks and we’re pushing him along, trying to get him up to this level,” said Kenny of Ryan.
Perhaps the duo will emerge as impact subs for Dublin in the coming weeks, in much the same way Eamon ‘Trollier’ Dillon has adapted to that role.
Dillon inspired Dublin’s comeback on Saturday, striking 0-4 as a half-time sub having hit 1-1 from the bench against Laois the previous weekend.
“These games are played over 75, 76, 78 minutes now, at Championship pace,” said Kenny.
“You need the likes of ‘Trollier’ right there at the death. He did exceptionally well when he came on for us. He did that last week as well, we expect nothing less from him because he’s a top, top inter-county forward.”
Reigning Young Hurler of the Year Adrian Mullen didn’t make Kilkenny’s match-day 26 after only recently returning from a cruciate lay-off.
Richie Hogan came on but hit two bad wides and it remains to be seen if Brian Cody shakes his misfiring team up for the Leinster final. Asked why they slackened off so badly, Cody shrugged: “A big lead can be a dangerous thing I suppose. I can’t say for certain why.”