herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Dublin must push Tribes for play-off

THE old Francie Barrett tune was dancing around on the CD player -- 'To Win Just Once'.

Dublin's victory over Tipperary in Division 1 of the National League a couple of weeks ago was a cup full of sugar.

It was a long time in the oven. You'd have to search deep in the vinyl vaults for Dublin's last triumph in the top flight.

But once gained, the victory opened the windows and pulled back the curtains. It has instilled the promise of a new dawn.

The achievement in Parnell Park put the pep back into the Dubs. And come Monday morning, the birds were singing a little sweeter. The result was all important, but, perhaps, the manner of it even more so.

The great Jack Nicklaus said all champions have to scramble. The Blues did that, and more.

Now on Sunday, they'll head to the banks of the Corrib. Galway will ask a few Vincent Browne-like questions. Like Tipp, they reside in the Premiership.

Yet Dublin will be ready to empty the tank again, just like they did against Tipp. "There are two types of fitness," reflects Dublin boss, Denis Murphy.

"Physical and mental. You need the two to go together. We have worked hard on our physical fitness and the girls showed good mental fitness against Tipperary.

"Tipp came back at us in the last 10 minutes. We were only leading by a point. But the players showed great heart and they were able to drive on."

Dublin's collective effort had to be commended. They contested every Donnycarney crumb. The defending was first-class.

Louise O'Hara inspired all around her as she foraged deep to get on the ball. "Louise gave a wonderful performance, but particularly in the last 10 minutes she was tremendous. She was a real leader," noted Denis.

He also had special praise for young Ali Twomey, a genuine star in the making. She hit some gorgeous scores and struck several probing passes, yet it was her mental courage that found favour when it was needed most.



Buzz

"Ali played in the corner-forward position, but she kept coming out to show for the ball. And when she got it, she used it well. That's what you are looking for," stated Denis.

The display against Tipp sparked goodwill throughout the country. "But it's still only one win," cautions Denis. "It's early in the season and Tipp didn't have their Drom and Inch players. Yet at the same time, I'm not downplaying the win.

"It was marvellous to get it. There's nothing like a good result to create that extra buzz in training. It was so pleasing to have come out on the right side of the result.

"But our focus is very much Galway now. We have to try and build on the Tipp display. We'll have to keep working hard.

"It would be brilliant if we could make a play-off position in the league or championship. That has to be our target now.

"If we get into the play-offs, great. We'd gladly accept that. And if we manage it, we'll see what happens after that."

But starting on Sunday, Dublin know only too well that if they are to gain a ticket to the boardroom, they face a long and winding motorway.

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