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Fanning delighted with young guns

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Dublin minor hurler Cian Boland. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Dublin minor hurler Cian Boland. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Dublin minor hurler Cian Boland. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

DUBLIN manager cut a contented figure as he reflected on Dublin's 1-21 to 1-11 victory over Offaly in their Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Hurling Championship second round tie in Tullamore last Saturday.

His youthful selection showed understandable signs of nerves in the opening exchanges but their ability to come through their first championship outing was a positive indicator of Dublin's provincial ambitions, according to the Na Fianna clubman.

"We were going into the Lion's Den in some respect and I thought the lads responded very well to that particular pressure.

"Having that under your belt is a big plus to take from the win and the experience you gain from matches like that can be a huge help to the panel as the campaign unfolds," he said.

The absence of Shane Barrett, Cian Boland and Chris Bennett forced Fanning's hand to a degree in terms of team selection last Saturday but his options should increase for the provincial semi-final in seven weeks' time.

"I would definitely expect to have both Shane Barrett and Chris Bennett back in full health for the semi-final and their availability should definitely make for serious competition for places," he said.

"We had some very good displays with the likes of Fionn Ó Riain Broin, Jonathan Treacy, Cian Mac Gabhann, Eoghan O'Donnell, Seán Treacy and Con O'Callaghan doing well."

Next up for the Dubs is a home semi-final against either Kildare, or more likely Kilkenny, provisionally arranged for Parnell Park on June 22, which should provide a sterner test of their championship credentials.

• Dublin minor footballers face Wexford in a Leinster MFC quarter-final clash this Saturday night in Parnell Park (7pm) - see page 41.


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