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Wednesday 20 September 2017

Murphy buoyed by Blues' self-belief

Following an afternoon of high drama at Dr Cullen Park, Dublin booked their place in the ESB Leinster Minor Hurling Champion-ship semi-finals with a narrow 0-22 to 2-14 victory over Carlow last Saturday.

On reflection, manager John Murphy was keen to accentuate the positives from what was a difficult task and was delighted to progress to a last-four date with Wexford in Parnell Park, provisionally arranged for June 26.

"Look, we're just delighted with the win to be honest. It was all about getting through to the next round and having come through in those circumstances should stand us in good stead for the Wexford challenge."

Murphy paid tribute to the spirited challenge that Carlow presented and felt that Dublin deserved credit for prevailing against a county that has come on in leaps and bounds at underage level of late. "There is no doubt that Carlow have an excellent side and we certainly saw glimpses of that on Saturday. I would certainly rate them up there with the likes of Offaly and Wexford, and we definitely didn't underestimate them coming into the game."



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With Dublin having endured a horrific opening to the game, where they trailed by seven points inside the opening six minutes (1-4 to 0-0), Murphy was delighted with the reaction of his players, and the calmness they showed in playing themselves back into contention.

"We were very happy with the response of the lads. In truth, we dominated the majority of the match and, although they came back at us, we showed great self-belief at crucial times to eventually dig out a result," added the Crumlin clubman.

With the imposed six-week break due to the Leaving Cert, Murphy plans to use this time by keeping things ticking over with light training sessions, and a couple of challenge games will be arranged over the coming weeks, with the Dublin management using these games to assess the strength of his panel ahead of the semi-final.

"We totally appreciate the education commitments of the lads in the coming weeks so there will be no pressure placed on anyone to play. This should give us an opportunity to run the rule on fringe members of the panel as we look at our options for the rest of the campaign," concluded Murphy.

His options will be improved by the likely return from injury of team captain Robert Hardy and Ciarán Kilkenny, while Fergal Heavey continued his successful rehabilitation by featuring in the last 14 minutes of the match.

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