Dublin’s win over Galway ensures they are back in a Leinster final for the first time since 2014, but sport’s significance was put into context this week for the group.
James Madden starred for the Dubs at Croke Park, one day after his father Noel’s funeral. Meanwhile, manager Mattie Kenny’s brother-in-law Michael Flanagan also passed away in recent days.
“Huge courage that James showed, Kenny said at full-time. “His dad passed away and was laid to rest yesterday. To be able to come out and put in a performance like that just shows the type of man he is, the type of player.
“To his mum, Helen and his sister Áine, I’m sure they were very emotional at home today.
“And to my own brother-in-law that is being buried tomorrow, all the Flanagans down there, huge Galway people, huge Cuala and Dublin supporters also, it’s for both of them families, that victory today.”
A minute’s silence being held before throw-in here at Croke Park for Noel Madden, our Senior Hurler James’ father, who passed away during the week.
And also for Michael Flanagan, brother-in-law of our manager, Mattie Kenny.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha dílis 💙 pic.twitter.com/GPUwcoQjc9
After an underwhelming league campaign, Dublin were not widely expected to cause Galway any significant problems, but they managed to shut down the Westerners’ star-studded attack.
“That was our first goal to concede in four matches,” Kenny noted.
“Our fullback line of Eoghan [O’Donnell], Paddy [Smyth] and Cian [O’Callaghan], they’re doing really really well.
“It was needed today. Galway carried a huge threat. They went after goals a number of times. There was some really good defending and some really good goalkeeping kept them out, thankfully.”
Overall, Kenny was thrilled with how his side laid down a gauntlet in the early stages and maintained a high level throughout the contest.
“I felt in the first quarter that Galway came really strongly at us. We got a couple of scores then and grew into the game. I felt the way we managed the game, we controlled it very well,” he outlined.
“We got a goal at a vital time, and managed to keep Galway at arms’ length for the rest of the game so that was very pleasing for us.”
‘Any team can beat any team in a game of hurling’
Man of the match Conor Burke could not hide his delight at full-time.
“We’re delighted. The results didn’t really go our way during the league, and we had a fairly determined to rectify that coming into the championship,” grinned the St Vincent’s club man.
“We know what sort of talent we have in the bunch, and we were just looking to get it out on the pitch. Thankfully we did deliver.
“In the All-Ireland Championship, there’s nothing really between the top eight teams or so. So we were really focusing on ourselves and looking to deliver that performance. On any given day, any team can beat any team in a game of hurling. I think we proved that.”
Focus now turns to the Leinster final against Kilkenny in two weeks. And the men from the capital will be looking to use Saturday’s victory as a springboard, something they failed to do after their last championship victory over the Tribesmen.
“Beating Galway in 2019 was a huge win. And a big fall from grace then losing to Laois in the next round. We’re really determined to push on now and finish it out,” Burke warned.
“It’s great to be back in Croker with fans,” he added. “It makes a big difference. It gives you a real lift as well. The fans were pushing us on in the last few minutes when bodies were tired.”
Source: Read Full Article