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'We seem to be unheard of now again. That's fine': Daly

ANTHONY Daly didn't need to search very far for insight or, for that matter, perspective this week ahead of his fifth Championship summer as Dublin hurling manager.

"There is a lot to be learned from the Clare game," he says, about last Sunday's Munster SHC win for his county of origin and residence against Waterford in Thurles.

"I know Clare didn't play well for long periods, but they kept their composure. They trusted that they would finish strong and that they would see out the win and that's the sign of a team.

"Hopefully, we would have a bit of that," he added in reference to tomorrow evening's trip to face Liam Dunne's Wexford. "We've been around for a while."

Similarly, the pivotal moment in the match demonstrated once more to Daly that the particulars of hurling are not elements of any exact science.

"If Clare had lost by a point ... imagine," he says, referring to the second-half free, taken by Tony Kelly, who went for goal with Clare level at 0-14 to 1-11.

"Colin Ryan had been the free-taker all day. A shot for a goal. It gets saved. Kevin Moran tries to clear it. Peter Duggan – who they put on and then took off – blocks it down. And it falls to Shane O'Donnell, who they were trying to get off the field. And he sticks it in the net. So look it, that's hurling. You need to get the break every so often. You need a bit of luck along the way."

He is, understandably, almost allergic to reference Dublin's big win in Wexford during the League.


"I honestly do think it doesn't make a whole pile of difference. Come June, it's a different type of hurling altogether," he points out. "This is my opinion – obviously like everything else, it could be right or wrong – but I think on Sunday you will see Limerick, who are still in 1B next year, really put it up to Tipperary, who people are saying could win the All-Ireland. You'll see that on Sunday. And I think, look, Wexford will raise their game big time for Championship. In their home ground and hopefully, we will be able to match that and raise our game as well. That's the reality of it.

"It's Championship. It's a Saturday evening. The weather should be good. I think the League match will have very little relevance really to the type of game you will get on Saturday.

"I expected a huge challenge. Nothing less. Hopefully we'll respond to that and play well. From what I hear from teams who have played them in challenge games, they were going well," Daly adds.

"They're lively and they're mad for road and they seem to have the football lads all on board now as well. It's a very tough place to get a win."

For perspective's sake, he cites a Dublin/Wexford match not a million years ago as how quickly things can change in hurling.

"I would be laughing at fellas saying to you, 'Ah, sure you should beat Wexford'," he says. "Jesus, four years ago when we beat them, there was unbridled joy down below in Nowlan Park

"It's gas the way things go. We were up there for about two weeks after we beat Limerick in the 1B final. Now after Tipperary, we seem to be unheard of now again. That's fine. That suits us grand," he concludes.