Dublin ended the round stage of their National Hurling League Division 1B season with victory as they secured a comprehensive 2:31 to 1:24 win over Laois at O’Moore Park.
However, it was a mixed day for Mattie Kenny’s charges as Kilkenny’s win over previously unbeaten Waterford at Nowlan Park ensured the Dubs would not advance to the semi-finals and finish third in the group.
Despite that disappointment, there was plenty of encouragement for Dublin fans throughout the spring, with former Under-21 coach Seán Lane feeling relatively positive as Dublin began preparations for the Championship.
“Dublin have had some good results in the league and it was good to end the season with a win.
“They got a decent result but I suppose they conceded some too and it seemed like the kind of game where it was very easy to score points.
“For example, Alex Considine made his goal very well towards the end but you wouldn’t expect him to get that much space against the top teams in the Championship.
“I think the league has been good for Dublin but it would have been great if they had another high-intensity game to look forward to ahead of the Championship.
“It would have been good for them to compete again, especially after their performance against Kilkenny when they couldn’t match them in terms of pace or intensity.
“Nevertheless, they can now focus on the positive aspects of the league and get their provincial campaign right,” Lane said.
In terms of those positives, Lane believes a number of players have performed well enough to ensure they will play a key role once the Championship begins.
“Even though there are still decisions to be made, there are players who have really stood up in the league and not harmed themselves before the summer.
“Fergal Whitely has been strong all year, taking six points from play on Sunday while Andrew Dunphy was very solid at the other end of the field as a corner defender and I can imagine he’s definitely cemented his place in the team.
“Both Conor Burke and Riain McBride seemed to have found their positions in midfield and center forward and I think Eamonn Dillon has moved up the pecking order.
“However, the goalkeeping problem is not solved and whoever Mattie chooses from Seán Brennan and Alan Nolan should be used for all four league games.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/dublin-gaa/laois-win-not-enough-to-secure-nhl-semi-final-for-matties-men-41470378.html Laois aren’t winning enough to secure Mattie’s man the NHL semifinals