Wednesday 13 December 2017

Penalty hero Tormey insists Leinster final win would be ‘big step’ for Royal county

ANDREW Tormey says he is "mad to get a shot at the Dubs".

Expect plenty of that sort of talk these next three weeks.

Calm but clinical, the Royals take their lead from their permanently unflustered manager, Mick O'Dowd, who himself doffed his cap at the All-Ireland champions on Sunday, but in a sort of nonplussed way.

He wasn't inclined to obsess on the national debate on how Dublin can be beaten, until such time as it was relevant to him and his team. "We all know what's exactly at stake here," said Tormey, the scorer of 1-4 against Kildare last Sunday, including a crucial penalty just prior to half-time.

"We wanted to get to Division 1, we missed out on that narrowly. We wanted to win a Leinster and to get into the top eight in the country. We're close enough now.

"Winning a Leinster final would be a big step and we would be in the top eight then and then we'd drive on from there and see what happens.

"We've learned a lot from last year. We watched a lot of video analysis, taken a lot away from last year and brought it into training.

"We're really looking forward to it now. Today was a big step. No one was probably giving us much of a chance with the injuries that we had but we got there in the end."


Not that they made it easy on themselves.

Meath almost looked to have surprised themselves by going 12 points in front, a lead reduced to four at one stage.

Given Dublin's impressive propensity to go into overdrive in the final quarter, any repeat lull in the Leinster final will surely be fatal for Meath.

"I think it was because of the 12-point lead," Tormey reasoned. "I don't think we'll have a 12-point lead against the Dubs going into the last 10 or 15 minutes.

"If we do have it all the better but obviously we have done a lot of work in the second half so we're well prepared for the Dubs now." We kind of took the foot off the gas when we went 12 points up. We kind of maybe thought we had the game won and Kildare started throwing everything at us in the last 20 to 25 minutes."

Not that he's bragging or anything, but Tormey admits his penalty was crucial.

Against Carlow in round one, Mickey Newman scored Meath's penalty yet with him out with a hamstring injury, Tormey stepped up.

"It was good to be going in five points ahead," he admitted. "It would have been a nervous enough second half if we were only two points ahead after the first half that we had.


"But it settled us down, we came out in the second half and went 12 points up.

"The goal just before half-time settled us a little. We were kicking a few things wide and had a few goal chances in the first half as well. The penalty just settled us down and we kind of finished off the game in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

"I think Kildare were kind of throw everything at us after that," said Tormey. "We knew we had a strong enough panel," he added. "It would have been better to have the injured lads there obviously but the lads there on the bench have been training away and we're all just mad to get back to the Leinster final and get a shot at the Dubs."

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