Sunday 22 October 2017

I stayed in the house all week to hide from negativity – Sutcliffe

Danny Sutcliffe takes on Tommy Walsh during Dublin’s victory over Kilkenny
Danny Sutcliffe takes on Tommy Walsh during Dublin’s victory over Kilkenny
Vincent Hogan

Vincent Hogan

Dublin hurlers' goalscoring hero Danny Sutcliffe admits he virtually went into hiding last week to avoid the negativity of those who believed they had spurned their chance of defeating Kilkenny.

The St Judes man scored the critical 54th-minute goal in Portlaoise on Saturday night that earned Anthony Daly's men a Leinster final appearance against Galway next weekend, but revealed afterwards the extremes he went to in an effort to steer clear of any city pessimism decanted by TJ Reid's late equaliser in the drawn game.

"I stayed in the house on my own all week, because I knew even my friends would be saying it was gone," admitted Sutcliffe. "We just had to bring a good performance again and see how it went. That's what we have done all year and this was a good performance which, thankfully, was enough."

Dublin were still considered 6/1 outsiders going into the replay and Sutcliffe believes the key to their victory was "the relentless pressure" they imposed on the All-Ireland champions.

"We didn't die off or have a lull," he reflected. "We matched them as much as we could and thank God we came out the right side, because many a night we have gone home on that bus after a bad beating. But we're learning all the time and it's good to be in a Leinster final."

Of the goal that stopped a resurgent Kilkenny in their tracks, Sutcliffe observed: "I don't know how it went in with all the bodies in the way. They were all shouting at me to put it over the bar, but I said I'd chance my arm and hit it low and thank God it went in.

"We knew we needed to stay with them for as long as we could and see how it went. Other times we have played them, we have been two or three goals down at half-time, so that was important to stay with them for as long as we could.

"It was tense when they started closing the gap. There were a few frees going over and a few missed and it's a small margin of error, so thankfully that goal was in the bank. Look, it's great to beat Kilkenny, but then again there is no point getting too excited because we've won nothing."

PRODUCING

That could change this Sunday when Galway are their provincial final opponents and Sutcliffe is looking no further than Dublin producing "another good performance".

Of his latest battle with Tommy Walsh, Sutcliffe reflected: "You want to test yourself against the best and he is pretty much one of the best of all time. Any day you can get anything out of him is a plus for me, so I was delighted yeah."

As to the threat now posed by Joe Canning and Galway, Sutcliffe remarked: "It's great to be back in Croke Park and, hopefully, we can produce another big performance and see how that goes."

Irish Independent

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