Young gun Sutcliffe puts his hand up to catch the eye
WITH Dublin's pandemic of injuries slow to ease and the impending start of a condensed Allianz Hurling League, Anthony Daly was understandably looking at the wider personnel picture yesterday in O'Moore Park.
In particular, the eye-catching performance of Danny Sutcliffe gave the Clareman plenty of reason to be cheerful, a wholly impressive outing to add to his recent good challenge match form.
"I thought young Sutcliffe was outstanding," he praised. "That's the huge positive, the likes of him standing up. It was fantastic to see young Sutcliffe there at 19 be able to step up and hold his own so there's one (player) saying, 'I want to be there and I can play at this level' and that's how it looks for me.
"Days like today are about finding out who is tough enough, who has it for inter-county."
Daly also gave competitive debuts to Shane Stapleton (0-8, 7f), Cian McBride (0-2) and Eamon Dillon and with four weeks to go before their Division 1 opener with Galway in Salthill, he insisted that there remained plenty of scope for those attempting to play their way into the first team equation.
"We're just looking for the lad who's putting his hand up and saying, 'I want to be playing'.
"There is no doubt young Danny Sutcliffe did that today. That's what you're looking for.
"You're looking for some fella to say, 'I want to be on this team' He showed it today. Not enough showed it today.
"It's a work in progress. We're a few years at it. We know our best 21 or 22 so if we can get one or two to give us that bit extra and we can get the main bodies back on the field, I wouldn't be overly panicked about today.
"But we want to be coming down and getting a win here at the same time.
"We have three long-term injuries anyway and (David) Treacy is still a work in progress to get back. That's what fellas had to do."
Daly also welcomed the return of Alan McCrabbe from a hip injury although as he explained, the problem is ongoing.
"It was good to see him back out there," he said of his second-half goal-scorer.
"He did a bit of training during the week. It's long term. It's going to be there so we just have to manage it.
"It's in the hip joint so it's not going to clear up. So it's a case of giving him a week off here and there to let it settle.
"We had Gary Maguire and four subs, that's all we had -- there was nobody else available.
"Dotsy (David O'Callaghan) is sick, Michael Carton was working, Shane Durkin was injured during the week. That's what you have."
SCORERS: W Hyland 0-8 (6f), T Fitzgerald 2-1, J Brophy 0-2, M McEvoy, C Murray, W Dunphy 0-1 each.
STARTING 15: D Hanlon; B Smith, D Maher, P Mullaney; J Fitzpatrick, M Whelan, C Dunne; J Walsh, B Dunne; J Brophy, M McEvoy, W Hyland; W Dunphy, T Fitzgerald, D O'Mahoney.
SUBS: C Murray for Brophy (51), E Houlihan for McEvoy (68).
WIDES: 10 (6 + 4)
BOOKED: McEvoy (60)
SCORERS: S Stapleton 0-8 (7f), A McCrabbe 1-0, R O'Dywer, C McBride 0-2 each, D O'Dwyer, J McCaffrey 0-1 each.
STARTING 15: A Nolan; R Trainor, C O'Brien, J McCaffrey; D Sutcliffe, J Boland, R Walsh; C Clinton, S Stapleton; C McBride, C McCormack, S Ryan; D O'Dwyer, R O'Dwyer, E Dillon.
SUBS: M O'Brien for Clinton (ht), A McCrabbe for Ryan (h-t), P Carton for Dillon (51), P Ryan for McCormack (58).
WIDES: 10 (7 + 3)
BOOKED: R O'Dwyer (50), D O'Dwyer (54).
ATTENDANCE: 400 (Est.)
REF: P O'Dwyer (Carlow)