Monday 25 September 2017

Sutcliffe in fitness race after being hit by 'friendly fire' on club duty

Danny Sutcliffe at the launch of AIG's Dublin jersey promotion at Parnell Park yesterday
Danny Sutcliffe at the launch of AIG's Dublin jersey promotion at Parnell Park yesterday
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

All Star Danny Sutcliffe hasn't given up hope of featuring in Dublin's opening hurling championship match next month despite suffering a broken hand while on club duty.

Sutcliffe is locked in a race against time to be fit for the June 14 tie after he picked up the injury in what military personnel would describe as 'friendly fire'.

The St Jude's man clashed with Crumlin player and Dublin hurling selector Shane Martin in their Dublin SHC clash earlier this month and remains a doubt for Anthony Daly's side as they look to defend their Leinster title.

"My own coach took me out in a club game. I live in Crumlin and I was playing against Crumlin, so it was obviously going to happen, but he denies it," Sutcliffe joked.

"I was unlucky to get a slap on the hand. I only found out a couple of days later. It's not too bad, I finished the game but I got another slap on it later, so that didn't help.

"I knew (it was bad), but the game was tight and it would have been a sign of weakness if I had to go off, so I said I'd finish it out.

"The second bang wasn't great either but for our club it was great. Most of my friends are on it. The whole team is 22 or under and we are the only team unbeaten in Dublin. We have put a lot of work in and I wanted to be a part of it as much as the lads are. We won anyway."

BATTLE

As Leinster champions, Dublin are afforded a bye straight into the provincial semi-final, and who they'll face in that game should become a little clearer when the round-robin series is completed this weekend.

Whoever tops that group takes on Wexford, with Dublin facing the winners of that game.

And Sutcliffe warned that their opponents will have an advantage, having already tasted championship action.

"It happened to us last year where through the games we had, we built momentum," he said.

"It's the first one you get under your belt that lets you reassess. But there is nothing you can do about it, that's the situation we are in.

"If we can make it hard for ourselves out there in panel games, that should set us up well for a performance – that is the only way we can do it.

"I'm aiming for that game, but I am probably pushing it a bit. I can only give myself the best chance by being fit when I get back, and the sooner I get the hurl in the hand, the better.

"Either way, there will be 15 picked that will be good enough to do the job and whether I'm there or not doesn't matter.

"We've worked hard to build a panel over the last year or two and whatever 15 are picked, they are the best 15 going."

Irish Independent

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