Saturday 3 December 2016

Sutcliffe: It's a great chance to exorcise our demons

Published 18/04/2015 | 02:30

Danny Sutcliffe insists Dublin's hurlers are desperate to make up for their earlier 11-point flop to the Rebel County in tomorrow’s big rematch in the Allianz Hurling League semi-finals (SPORTSFILE)
Danny Sutcliffe insists Dublin's hurlers are desperate to make up for their earlier 11-point flop to the Rebel County in tomorrow’s big rematch in the Allianz Hurling League semi-finals (SPORTSFILE)

Dublin's hurlers are desperate to make up for their earlier 11-point flop to the Rebel County in tomorrow's big rematch in the Allianz Hurling League semi-finals.

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"I'm just delighted that we have another chance to face Cork in case we meet them along the road again, just to exorcise the demons of Croke Park a few weeks ago," wing-forward Danny Sutcliffe admitted.

"It was probably our only bad half of hurling in the league. We lost to Clare obviously but we performed to a decent level that day. Against Cork, we just got blown away, so it is good to have the chance to learn from the video of that game."

The St Judes star is still at a loss to explain what happened.

"The first two line-balls I let in, I just wasn't switched on," he confessed. "I was switched out of midfield very quickly after and was annoyed with myself, (for) simply not being switched on.

"We were coming in on a high from the Tipperary and Kilkenny games so maybe it brought us back down to earth," he mused.

Sutcliffe knows that such a high-profile loss at HQ gives fuel to those who argue that Dublin's hurlers are not as good once you take them out of the tight confines of their home patch and criticise them for 'losing big' when games have gone beyond them.

"The elephant in the room is people only think you can play in Parnell Park," he conceded but he believes their demolition of Limerick in the subsequent league quarter-final answered those critics.

Availability

"You've seen the way we performed and moved the ball the last day, I'd prefer to be in Croke Park with players like Mark (Schutte) with his pace and power. I don't think that's an issue," he insisted.

Dublin are boosted by Conal Keaney's availability after he successfully appealed a ban mid-week. Sutcliffe said justice was done and blamed the 'Sunday Game' analysts for over-analysing an incident.

"It was a joke that it came up in the first place," he said. "It would have been awful for him to lose out at this time of year but luckily they (the CHC) did the right thing, which was to over-rule it."

Keaney is one of the high-profile players to whom new manager Ger Cunningham has given a new role this year,

"It's the exact same thing (as half-forward), winning high balls above his opponent, and he's enjoying it back there and giving us so much from wing-back now," Sutcliffe said.

The 23-year-old wasn't involved when Dublin broke through to win the league in 2011 so reaching the final would be special for him and he reckons Nowlan Park will be buzzing tomorrow.

"Hopefully it might be at full capacity and make for a good atmosphere."

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