Friday 28 October 2016

We're all fighting for our places all the time admits Dubs ace Ciaran Kilkenny

Ciaran Kilkenny
Ciaran Kilkenny

IT'S only two years since Dublin's Under 21s lost to Longford in Parnell Park so there was sincerity in Ciarán Kilkenny's post-match thoughts when he said that their seniors were given serious consideration prior to Sunday's unseemly annihilation.

"We had serious respect for Longford going into the game," said Kilkenny, who was given the official Man of the Match award on a day when no Dublin player could be deemed to have underperformed.

"A lot of us lost to them at Under 21 level. So we were well prepared for them.

"We gave them the respect they deserved and with the hard work we put in, we pulled away towards the end of the game."


Back in May 2013, Kilkenny missed a tricky injury-time free on the evening when Longford stunned Dessie Farrell's Dublin Under 21 team in a 1-6 to 1-5 win.

Kilkenny, Davy Byrne, Jack McCaffrey and Eric Lowndes - all of whom were involved in some capacity on Sunday - played in that match, though the difference between the teams on Sunday was so stark as to be almost unrecognisable.

"It was tough in the first half," said Kilkenny, sounding almost a bit like Brian Cody when he surmises one of his team's ritual destructions of some or other hurling also-ran.

"The conditions. The hot weather. It was a good physical battle in the first half.

"But when we came in, we just wanted to push on and reset. And do the best that we can to our abilities.

"We have a 30-man panel and any man can come on and do the business. Lads were gagging to come on."

Byrne, along with Brian Fenton and John Small, made his senior debut on Sunday and having played with each, Kilkenny was effusive in praise of their efforts.

"They're brilliant," he said.

"The energy the young lads bring to the place is brilliant. And it's great to have that competitiveness is great. They're fighting for places, week in, week out.

"It''s a great environment to be playing in and working in and it creates a great atmosphere," added the Castleknock club man.

"It's great to go out and represent your county. To represent Dublin is a privilege. The lads did a great job. We put a lot of hard work into this game.

"We've two more to go in Leinster and hopefully three more after that. We'll just take each game as it comes and hopefully push on after that," concluded Kilkenny.

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