herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Minors motoring along nicely with McGuirk at wheel

dublin minor hurlers

It proved a disappointing afternoon for the Dublin minor hurlers in Rathdowney last Saturday afternoon as they continued their preparations for their upcoming provincial campaign.

The Dubs, under the stewardship of Johnny McGuirk, were due to face Cork in another marker of where their ambitions may lie for the impending championship.

However, with Cork having earlier faced Tipperary in a challenge match, a second-string Rebel outfit proved no match for the Dubs as they lost by 2-17 to 0-7 in a contest that finished prematurely after a series of unseemly challenges.

frustrating

"It was a frustrating day for us," conceded McGuirk.

"We were looking forward to testing ourselves against a decent Cork team but unfortunately, that never happened so there was very little for us to take from the day.

"We were able to work on a few things which was a little help and we only managed four wides throughout the match so I suppose they were the positives that we could see from our persepctive," added McGuirk.

Despite the obvious disappointment with last weekend's events, Dublin can feel reasonably pleased with their progression over the spring after pitting their collective wits against some of the country's finest sides.

The Dubs have faced Limerick on two occasions as well as Waterford with further challenge games arranged against Tipperary, Clare, Galway and Waterford again before their Leinster Minor Hurling Championship opener on April 25th.

McGuirk, who manages the panel along with Paul O'Brien, Eoin Roche, Joe Cunningham and Ciaran Hetherton, has overlooked some solid development within the panel in recent weeks with the emphasis on the collective rather than certain individuals improving all the time.

"The lads are working very hard and some of the things that we are working on are coming together nicely," said the former Craobh Chiaráin stalwart.

"All we have been working on is the strength of the panel as a unit and all the players have come around to that thinking over the past while.

teamwork

"Our teamwork has improved hugely as a result of that and with every match and every training session, we are getting that bit sharper and that bit better.

"Of course, we are only playing challenge games at the moment but apart from what happened last Saturday, we have found ourselves some decent challenges and the panel are learning all the time about what is expected from them.

"We are happy enough with where we are at this time and things are taking shape nicely," added McGuirk.

Dublin appear not to have any issues at present with dual players, a factor that has been a massive talking point in recent years for Dublin minor teams with McGuirk confirming that neither he nor his football counterpart Paddy Christie looking to use players for both codes.

With Dublin's injury list improving by the day, McGuirk was able to confirm that the only absentee at present, Eoghan Conroy of St Maur's, should be resuming training in the not too distant future.

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