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Saturday 16 December 2017

We must learn from defeat to Kerry: Giller

PAT GILROY has laid out his stall for this year’s Allianz League campaign – far better to lose now and learn than to do so in the height of summer.

“Ideally we want to win every game that we go out to play,” the Dublin boss declared, speaking at a DCU press conference today ahead of tomorrow night’s Division One visit to Mayo.

“If there are things that are showing up in the way we play, things that we can learn from and help us during the summer … well, I’d rather get the lessons now than get them in the summer.”

Dublin only lost once in league or championship combat last year – to Cork in the NFL decider – but Gilroy recalled how they “learned a hell of a lot” from that defeat that “really stood to us” in the summer. “If you have a fear of defeat in that you’re going to be roaring and shouting every time that we have a defeat, then we are not going to be in a position where we are going to improve,” he said.

“We can’t have fear of defeat, but we want to go out and win. If we do have a defeat, we have to take out of it.”

Gilroy stressed that he doesn’t want to go through an entire league campaign playing “badly” in every game, but he expressed confidence that Dublin will deliver a “good performance” against Mayo. This follows the distinctly mixed bag that was last Saturday’s six-point reversal to Kerry.

“We had that game in good shape at half-time and they completely strangled us around the middle-third in the second half,” he reflected.

“There’s a lot of lessons for us in that. We didn’t break that at all for the whole of the second half.

“It’s the first game out in the year, but again we’ve sat down and chatted through it and there’s an awful lot to be brought out for us going forward, that we just can’t continue to do things like that.

“Straight after half-time was nothing to do with tired bodies,” Gilroy added. “Kerry just got on top of us, and they did several things that punished us around that area in particular. We didn’t do anything to change it, so we’ve had a good chat about how we can do that in the future.

“I think we lost nine out of ten kickouts in-a-row from our own end – you’re not going to win the game, you’re just on the back foot the whole time, and eventually it told with the goal going in last week. It’s just something that we have to be able to break out of.”

KILKENNY’S Michael Kavanagh has brought the curtain down on a glorious inter-county hurling career.

The St Lachtain’s man has decided to retire from the game at the top level. Kavanagh is the holder of eight senior All-Ireland medals - the same as Henry Shefflin and Eddie Brennan - with one more Leinster medal (13) than either Shefflin or Brennan.

LAOIS (SF v Donegal): E Culliton; C Healy, K Lillis, P O’Leary; D Strong, J O’Loughlin, C Boyle; K Meaney, B Quigley; R Munnelly, C Begley, D O’Connor; P Cahillane, P Clancy, D Conway.

LOUTH (SF v Galway): N Gallagher; P Rath, D Finnegan, G Hoey; R Finnegan. J Carr, L Shevlin; P Keenan, B Donnelly; D Crilly, R Carroll, A Reid; M Brennan, A McDonnell, D Clarke.

TIPPERARY (SF v Antrim): P Fitzgerald; A Morrissey, P Codd, C McDonald; R Costigan, T Ryan, R Kiely; B Jones, E Ryan; C Sweeney, S Ryan, P Acheson; M Quinlivan, P Austin, B Grogan.

TIPPERARY (SH v Cork): B Cummins; C O’Brien, P Curran, M Cahill; S Maher, C O’Mahony, Pádraic Maher; J Ryan, S McGrath; G Ryan, Patrick Maher, A Ryan; T Hammersley, B O’Meara, J O’Brien.

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