Dubs have kept sharp, says Ryan
PAUL RYAN has played down fears that a five-week gap could leave the Dublin hurlers dangerously under-cooked for their All-Ireland SHC semi-final against Cork.
The newly crowned Leinster champions have gone from a hectic provincial schedule of five games on consecutive weekends to having no competitive game-time for over a month.
But Ryan – whose swashbuckling 2-7 tally propelled Dublin to a first Leinster title since 1961 – insists that a sequence of ultra-competitive 'A' versus 'B' matches have filled the void ahead of Sunday's Croke Park return.
"For the past few weeks I have been marking Oisín Gough and, yeah, he's never a nice one to mark!" the Dublin corner-forward (pictured) quipped.
"That's exactly what you are going to get in a match, so I haven't been given any special treatment."
It's a big change from June, when two replays left virtually no scope for internal practice matches or for fringe panellists to showcase their claims.
"Lads weren't getting a chance to prove themselves because we had no matches during the week. But they have now, and you can see it," Ryan revealed.
"There are lads like Chris Crummey and a few others, really champing at the bit to try and get into that 26, if not the 15," he added.