Dublin minor boss plots Tipp scalp in replay
Shay Boland. Picture: Sportsfile
DUBLIN will aim to take full advantage of the second chance awarded to them when they face Tipperary in the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship final replay at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.
Despite dominating for large parts of the initial game, the Dubs required a contentious free, clinically converted by Paul Winters, to confirm a second day out.
Nothing less than a repeat of that dynamic display should suffice if Dublin are to claim their first minor title in 47 years, a fact acknowledged by team manger Shay Boland.
He said: “I suppose some people were surprised at the level of performance that we produced in the drawn game, especially in the first-half, but I can assure you it wasn’t a surprise to us.
“We knew we had to show up and give a performance and that is what we did for the large part but there is nothing won yet and we’ll need to possibly even improve on the last day if we’re to get the right result on Sunday,” said the St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh clubman.
Of course, the perceived wisdom around hurling circles is that much of the promise shown by Dublin was largely down to Tipp failing to play anywhere close to their potential and that the Premier will avail of that let-off to show a truer reflection of their capabilities next weekend.
Naturally, you would expect them to improve on just three scores from open play over the hour and their reliance on John McGrath’s placed-balls for scores was a damning reflection of their difficulties in attack.
Whether they are allowed to show sufficient improvement will depend on whether Dublin can produce as accomplished a defensive display as they produced over a fortnight ago with Boland expecting both sides to improve from the first day.
“We all know that Tipperary are an excellent hurling team with some incredibly stylish and gifted hurlers and they have shown how good they are all year by winning the Munster championship and then beating Galway.
“We knew that we had to compete with them and not allow them space or time on the ball as they have the ability to hurt you if afforded any space.
“We will need to continue to close them down as soon as possible and I’m sure they’ll feel that they didn’t perform to their optimum the last day but, then again, I don’t think that we did either so both teams will recognise the need for further improvement,” said Boland.
One obvious area of improvement is in Dublin’s inside-forward line as they failed to register a score from open play over the hour.
Boland, however, sees that as more of a statistical anomaly rather than a reflection of their influence and will aim to increase their scoring by improving the supply of ball into the Tipp full-back line. He went on: “I’m not sure the type of ball into our forwards was especially good and much of what the lads inside do is based on that supply so it is important that we can get the best out of those talented players.
“It doesn’t really matter who gets the scores on any given day and we are just focussed on giving another good performance on Sunday and hopefully getting a better result.”
– Rnn Mac Lochlainn – Evening Herald