TWO Dublin hurling selections made fruitful journeys to Kilkenny last Sunday morning, claiming some prize scalps en route to recording four wins from their four scheduled games.
In Dicksboro, Dublin's first game was against a North Wexford side with the Dubs narrowly prevailing by 2-9 to 2-8 with Andrew Lyons, Hugh McVeigh and Whitehall Colmcille's Seán Gray at half-forward all featuring prominently.
The final against North Kilkenny later in the day looked to be heading the hosts' way at the interval as the Dubs trailed by 10 points.
However, a spirited comeback, led by Lyons and Gray and inspired by the redeployment of Faughs' Chris Bennett from wing-forward to centrefield, saw Dublin close the gap before eventually pulling clear to win, 4-9 to 2-13.
That selection's success was mirrored in Thomastown as Dublin roared into the final on the back of a 6-13 to 1-8 victory over Wexford South.
Dublin continued that fine form in the final, producing a superb performance in accounting for Kilkenny South by 4-10 to 1-3, with Cuala's Con O'Callaghan in sparkling form at full-forward, scoring 5-5 over both games.
Dublin were equally impressive in defence with Eamonn Allen from Kilmacud Crokes a rock at full-back.
The Dublin selections, managed by Seán Lane (Ballinteer St John's), Pat Robinson (Faughs), Maurice O'Callaghan (Cuala) and David Needham (Lucan Sarsfields), will only improve from experiences of this kind with Lane particularly pleased with how the day went.
"It was a good day for Dublin hurling but we have a fair bit of work to do over the summer ahead of the prestigious Arrabawn tournament," said Lane.
Howard's boys build for future
Two Dublin u15 teams travelled to Wexford on Sunday morning to take part in a hurling blitz with development sides from Kilkenny as well as the host county.
Dublin team one performed superbly in both games but unfortunately succumbed to two narrow defeats to a Wexford selection, 1-11 to 0-9, and a Kilkenny selection, 3-9 to 2-7.
Despite the defeats, manager Niall Howard was very happy with the way his men performed.
"We had 26 players who saw action and they all gave a great account of themselves," he enthused.
"They were two very good teams we came up against and it was a massively worthwhile exercise.
"We are working towards our Leinster blitz in August and there is another day similar to today with Offaly and Laois, so there is plenty to look forward to."
Dublin team two fared slightly better. In their opening game they hammered Wexford by 0-18 to 0-3. However, the were narrowly defeated by Kilkenny, 1-15 to 2-9.
Dylan Keeley, Shane Howard, Mark Maguire and Paul Crummy all caught the eye for the young Dubs.
Their manager, John Twomey, said: "We played Wexford last year and they gave us a fair beating and today we beat them in one and lost one so that shows how far we've come."
Foley and Burke fire for U14s
The Dublin u14 hurling squad took to the field for their first taste of intercounty action when they played against a Kilkenny selection at Naomh Mearnóg on Sunday morning.
Originally, the day was planned as a blitz between two Dublin squads as well as teams from the Marble County and Antrim.
Unfortunately, Antrim were unable to travel, so Dublin divided their squad into three and played three challenge games against the Kilkenny lads.
Winning two and losing one, Dublin had many star performers. Na Fianna duo Donal Burke and Seafra Fitzgerald, Naomh Olaf man Eoin Foley and Faughs' Jack McVeigh all caught the eye.
Dublin manager Paul O'Brien was very satisfied with the morning's work and is hopeful that there will be plenty more action for his charges before they compete for the annual Tony Forrestal tournament later in the year.
"There are also two other blitz tournaments coming up. We got to see a fair amount of our players and it was the first time we got to see them in a competitive game. It was a positive exercise but there is plenty more work to do," said O'Brien.