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Bring on the Cats

GREAT to be back ... now bring on Kilkenny! Ten months ago, having wrecked his knee in a motorcyle accident on the cusp of an All-Ireland quarter-final, Conal Keaney wasn't sure when -- or even if -- he would ever hurl for Dublin again.

On Saturday evening, the Sky Blue talisman completed his painstaking comeback by starting alongside fellow cruciate victims Tomás Brady and Stephen Hiney as Dublin pulverised Laois by 22 points.

"I can't describe the feeling you get when you put back on the Dublin jersey after all that has happened," writes Keaney in his Evening Herald column. "It is something I know you just can't take for granted. Finally it was game time only 10 months later."

Keaney & Co could scarcely have asked for a more 'relaxing' return to the inter-county fray, but they now face the ultimate standard leap when tackling All-Ireland champions Kilkenny in Portlaoise on June 23 with a Leinster SHC final place at stake.

"We will, of course, have Ryan O'Dwyer coming back from suspension - but the big question is will he be sharp enough to start the next day, as each man performed so well throughout the pitch on Saturday? So, job done, now a Leinster semi-final in three weeks' time in O'Moore Park and already our preparations have begun."