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Dubs need a Clare performance to tame Cats: O'Grady

A CLARE Shout – and a big one. That's the advice of Dublin hurling supremo, Michael O'Grady.

The former county boss says that if the Blues can re-produce the display that they delivered against the All-Ireland champions, they stand more than a decent chance against Kilkenny on Saturday evening.

Kilkenny lost to Clare but have since beaten Tipperary and Galway. They now sit joint top of Division 1A with Waterford and Clare.

It might get even more congested yet, and a win on Saturday night could put the Dubs right back in the frame.

The FODH chief wants the Parnell Palladium to be rocking. The game is live on TV. And Michael's wish for Saturday Night Live is for the whole country to see Dalo's Diamonds at their dazzling best.

The compact surroundings of the Dublin HQ can generate an electric atmosphere, and the Cats can expect to be performing on a hot tin roof.

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Dublin's best performance of the season came there when they overcame Davy Fitzgerald's Banner boys by two goals. There was a real zest in Dublin's display. It was just the tonic following the disappointment of Salthill.

Now the plea from the Dublin hurling faithful is same again, please.

"It's St Patrick's weekend. It's a big occasion for hurling in Dublin. Hopefully, the Dublin support will come out. These fellas deserve it. They put so much into it," reflects Michael.

The presence of Cody's Colts will add significant sparkle under the Donnycarney lights.

"It's a chance for the kids, and the public, to come along and see this famous Kilkenny team up close. And Dublin too. Don't forget we are the Leinster champions.

"They beat us in the Walsh Cup in Croke Park. We weren't at our best that day. We have to improve if we are to get anything out of it. And I think we are well capable of showing improvement.

"It is very important that we get something from the match. Otherwise, we could be in relegation trouble."

Dublin left Walsh Park with regret. "We had a bad day," admits Michael. "We just didn't turn up trumps.

"Unfortunately, that's the second away game in a row that we just didn't deliver. It was somewhat similar to the Galway display. It just didn't happen that day either.

"We got a good start last Sunday. We were playing quite well, but we just couldn't seem to drive it on for some reason.

"And even when Waterford went down to 14 men, it made no difference. We didn't take advantage of that.

"Waterford dug in, and they took over, especially in the second half. We got the late goal to come within three points. There was hope we might have got the draw, but Waterford were deserving winners.

"We created openings, but we missed many chances. We hit some bad wides. We didn't get much ball down the middle. A lot of our possession was going into the corners and we just didn't get a good return from that possession.

"We know we can play much better. The soft ground just doesn't seem to suit us. The lads know it themselves that they can improve."

Michael is predicting a positive reaction on Saturday. "It's a case of players and management sitting down now and discussing what went wrong. Everybody was disappointed on Sunday.

"But Saturday can be better. We had a terrific season last year, and there is still everything to play for in the league.

"There is work to do this week, but the lads can lift it. And having Kilkenny in Parnell Park is the perfect opportunity to put things right.

"It just didn't happen against Waterford. But if we can repeat the display against Clare in Parnell Park, we'll certainly be in there against Kilkenny.

"Hopefully, it will come right. And I think on a firm pitch, with a big crowd behind them, Dublin can have a good night."


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