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Murphy rues missed opportunity

THE disappointment was written in ink all across Denis Murphy's face. Dublin had come within a whisker of beating the Cats.

He stood on the O'Toole Park pitch to gather his thoughts. He firmly believed that the Dubs should have gathered the points.

"It was a match we should have won by five or six points," Denis declared. "And that is no disrespect to Kilkenny. Anyone who was here would say that."

Dublin beat Tipp in their opening tie. Defeating Kilkenny would have been another significant feather in the cap.

"In fairness, you'd be fierce annoyed and frustrated to lose a game like that," Denis added. "We didn't take our chances. That's vital in any sport. We hit 12 wides. I'd say seven of those were 'easy wides.' And, at the end of the day, we lost by a point.

"We were on top in the first five minutes. We should have been four points to one up. Instead, we were 1-4 to a point down.

"Around the field, there were other little things that we have to take on board. We got hooked and blocked a bit more than we should have.

"We need to realise that inter-county is a big step up from club. We'll have a good look at the video. A lot of what we did was right. We just have to learn from what we did wrong."

One positive element was the spirit of the Dublin girls.

"Like they did against Tipp, the players lifted their heads and got back into it," added Denis. "At half-time we asked them to try and repeat the tempo of the last six or seven minutes of the first half.

"For a lot of the second half, we kept it going. But again, we just didn't take our chances."

Still, there will be optimism travelling in the kit bags to Offaly next Sunday. "There's no doubt about it that we can perform at this standard," he said.

"The main thing is that we need to maintain a high standard for the 60 minutes.

"We are well capable of getting results in this league.

"We want to be in the top five in the country.

"That's our target now."