Lack of killer touch key to Dubs malaise

Dublin are over reliant on Dónal Burke up front. Photo: Sportsfile

Ronan Mac Lochlainn

It has been a sobering year for Dublin senior hurlers, with some early season promise slowly but surely eroding the longer the year evolved.

A Walsh Cup success and an encouraging start to the National League hinted at a prolonged championship campaign but those hopes gradually subsided before being extinguished completely following last Saturday week’s defeat to Galway.

“I just don’t know where Dublin hurling is at now,” said former Na Fianna manager Declan Feeney.

“I was down in Salthill and it just looked a bit off before the game and that’s unusual to see at this level.


“It certainly isn’t a lack of effort from the players but confidence certainly seems to be an issue and the basics are letting Dublin down.

“That really shouldn’t be the case at inter-county but there is far too much fumbling of possession and inaccuracy in terms of passing that is apparent in Dublin’s play and something you rarely see with other counties.

“Despite the league going reasonably well, Dublin used the least number of players of any team and that, in hindsight, should have been a worrying sign.

“Other counties were happy to experiment in introducing new players to the panel and checking their suitability going forward but Dublin were quite conservative in the number of players that they used.

“I’m not sure of the reason behind that but it’s possible that the management were already convinced of their championship panel, with Donnacha Ryan the one exception to this.

“It’s important to bring lads through and give them the experience and maybe that’s what Dublin will look to do in the future,” added Feeney.

One area that certainly needs addressing is the output from the forward line, with the current returns from the front six not viable at this or any other level, according to Feeney.

“Essentially, Dublin were running with one scoring forward in Donal Burke and that is just not sustainable in the modern game.

“The level of scoring is just not acceptable anymore and you won’t win many, if any, matches if you rack up 17 points and 21 points like Dublin did against Kilkenny and Galway respectively.

“Dara Purcell looks to be the best option to bring up and give concerted game time to, while I still have high hopes for Sean Currie, but they are both slight.

“There really is no simple answer but it’s clear that something needs to be done to rectify these current issues,” added Feeney.