Drawing from Déise drama
Fade out due to lack of concentration Dubs boss Daly tells CONOR McKEON
SUCH is the growing ferocity of the Kilkenny/Tipperary rivalry at the moment, one might safely assume that the latter might be a bit sore after last weekend's defeat by the Cats in Thurles but in the context of Tipp's Croke Park clash with Dublin tomorrow night, Anthony Daly, views it as "the ideal result" for new Premier boss, Declan Ryan.
Now, the Clareman reckons, Ryan has sufficient ammunition to stoke the competitive fires amongst a squad of players who usurped the greatest hurling team of all time just five months ago.
"It was probably the ideal result from Declan Ryan's point of view," Daly told the Herald. "They probably accepted defeat a bit quicker because it was Kilkenny and because Tipp won the big one in the All-Ireland final last September. They were probably saying 'right, ye have this one but we'll see who's the best later on in the year'.
"Plus, Declan has a chance now to sit them down and get stuck into them in training this week and put it up to them.
"And sure coming up to Croke Park, it's easy to get lads motivated for that."
Back in his playing days, Daly himself suffered a sort of All-Ireland hangover though Clare's 1995/'96 National League opener is certainly a more extreme example.
"I remember in the old system, we went down to Tralee and we were beaten by Kerry as All-Ireland champions in October," Daly recollects. "There were a few fellas a bit worse for wear!
"In fairness, Tipp only got back from their All-Ireland holiday on the 23rd of January so Declan hasn't seen them too often just yet and there was Eoin Kelly's wedding the night before, too, so there were plenty of distractions going into the Kilkenny game."
Daly's own team, meanwhile, produced a mixed bag in Walsh Park to eventually come away with a point and while he is keen to accentuate the positives, he acknowledged that "you wouldn't want to go that long without scoring too often".
"You're not going to dominate all the time," he went on. "It was fantastic for lads to dig deep when we went five down into that slight wind and get a draw. Most of it is probably concentration.
"Tipp had a great performance in last year's All-Ireland final but there was long periods of that match where they were out of the game.
"You do your best to limit those sort of periods and try and maximise the times you're on top."
In terms of selection issues, Daly welcomes Joey Boland back from the bug which ruled him out of the Waterford match.
Even more encouragingly, Tipp native Ryan O'Dwyer's accelerated recovery from a shoulder injury has seen him train twice this week and he could yet feature on the bench (fitness test tomorrow morning), despite an initial prognosis which threatened to rule him out for four matches. Against that, Dublin struggled at full-back in Walsh Park where Tomás Brady picked up an early yellow card and both Stephen Hiney and Peter Kelly were utilised to try and mute the influence of Seamus Prendergast.
But Daly has no inhibitions about starting Brady there again tomorrow.
"Davy (Fitzgerald) was saying after that Prendergast is playing with much more confidence at the moment and he's in the form of his life," he revealed.
One of the main talking points arising from the Waterford clash was the performance of Conal Keaney, a man with just a month's worth of inter-county hurling behind him in nearly seven years.
"He was one of the highest in the work rate stats," added Daly. "On top of bringing the tremendous level of hurling he has, he has the proper attitude as well -- which is something we're looking for more and more of."
DUBLIN (SH v Tipperary): G Maguire; S Hiney, T Brady, S Lambert; N Corcoran, J Boland, S Durkin; J McCaffrey, S Ryan; C Keaney, D O'Dwyer, CMcCormack; D O'Callaghan, L Rushe, P Carton. Subs: A Nolan, R Trainor, P Schutte, P Kelly, P Ryan, M Quilty, L Ryan, D Plunkett, O Gough, R Walsh.