Saturday 21 October 2017

Dublin dare to dream

Sky Blues eye hurling and football double after ending long wait for Bob O'Keeffe Cup

Dublin manager Anthony Daly celebrates with Ryan O'Dwyer after winning the Leinster SHC title
Dublin manager Anthony Daly celebrates with Ryan O'Dwyer after winning the Leinster SHC title
Dublin players celebrate after their victory over Gaway in the Leinster hurling final
Dublin showed great resolve against Galway
Dublin player Peter Kelly's family celebrate after the match: l-r Josephine Kelly (mother), Martin Kelly (brother), Laura Flanagan (girlfriend of Peter), Martin Kelly (father) and friends Daniel Tomney and Amy Tomney, all from Lucan.
Dublin hurlers celebrate their win with the Bob O'Keeffe trophy
Peter Kelly Saves a Joe Canning Shot on Goal
Dublin fans from St Pats GAA club, Palmerstown, celebrate after the match

Martin Breheny and Cliona Foley

Dublin are in line to complete a Leinster senior championship double after the hurlers ended a 52-year wait for the provincial title with a 12-point win over Galway in Croke Park.

Anthony Daly's hugely impressive crew blitzed the defending champions by 12 points in a game watched by a crowd of 36,657. Now, the focus will switch to the footballers are they attempt to complete the Leinster double when they play Meath on Sunday.

Paul Ryan scored 2-7 for a rampant Dublin side that led Galway by 2-15 to 0-9 after 43 minutes. And while Galway hit back with two goals, they were unable to maintain momentum as Dublin regained control before powering to a 2-25 to 2-13 win.

"We weren't thinking about trophies or anything like that. All we were concerned with was the performance and the lads delivered a really big one today," said Daly, who has crowned his fifth season as manager with a major trophy.

After playing five games in 29 days, Dublin have a five-week wait for the All-Ireland semi-final which will see them attempt to reach the All-Ireland final for the first time since 1961.

Just like the Kilkenny hurlers, Kerry's footballers proved there's life in some of their old dogs yet by deposing their arch-rivals Cork on a 1-16 to 0-17 scoreline in yesterday's Munster final.

They had to battle hard in the end after letting a nine-point lead slip to two but manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice was equally frustrated by the 'Twitterati' and especially some former players who he accused of leaking his team selection.

His decision to leave out Kieran Donaghy – who came off the bench yesterday – caused some controversy and when word of it emerged last week the Kerry management were forced to release their team two days earlier than they intended.

"I was a bit disappointed especially that former players started peddling the team around the place," Fitzmaurice said. "It wasn't a big deal from the point of view that I didn't tell the players on Tuesday night 'lads keep it under your hats' or whatever.

"It's human nature that the lads are going to go home and talk to their families. But I would have been disappointed with some former players putting it out there, on social media. They know what it's like to be in a dressing-room and to have that kind of inner spirit in a team."

The GAA announced last night that the Phase 3 All-Ireland hurling qualifiers will take place in Thurles next Saturday with Clare playing Wexford at 5.0, followed by Kilkenny v Waterford at 7.0.

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