Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

17.59 3 Jul 2021


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Dublin manager Mattie Kenny had high praise for his side following their shock win over Galway in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final on Saturday. 

1-18 to 1-14 was the final score at Croke Park as the Dubs booked their place in the provincial decider where they'll face the winner of Wexford and Kilkenny.

Speaking to OTB Sports after the game Kenny was particularly impressed not just with the result but also the shift his players put in.

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"I'm really happy with the performance the guys put in today. They worked really hard, that game went on over 80 minutes.

"It was tough going out there. Galway asked a lot of questions of us, asked a lot of questions of our defense.

"I thought our defense played really well and that laid the foundation for our performance and our success - coming out with the ball, they used the ball well and the forwards worked really hard and kept that scoreboard ticking and kept their noses ahead for the almost 80 minutes."

Coming into this game not many had expected even a close encounter, let alone a Dublin win.

Kenny's side didn't appear to get the memo though and made a great start, keeping Galway scoreless until the 15th minute of play.

He felt the positive start was crucial to the win.

"Galway came with a big press, I felt, in the first five, six, seven minutes.

"They threatened our goals and thankfully we weathered that storm and went down and got a few scores, got our noses ahead.

"As the game went on, our setup was good, Galway's forwards are so dangerous and they were always a threat so thankfully we seen it out through to the finish."

Kenny was also very impressed with how his side saw out the game.

He said their sense of calmness in the closing stages was vital in ensuring the win.

"I think in that last 10 minutes when Galway were really, really pushing we beat the play out well.

"They [Dublin] used the ball well coming out, they minded the ball well and I think that was the key to our success.

"If we just cleared the lines and belted it down the other end of the field Galway were set up to counter-attack off that.

"That was really pleasing, the calmness and level of control and the mindset our lads had.

"They were brave to keep coming out and look for the best option and play it out of defense."

Kenny paid particular tribute to wing-back James Madden who played just one day after his father's funeral.

"He laid his dad Noel to rest yesterday.

"I talked to him a couple of days ago, it was James' decision but he said his dad had been a great supporter to him all his life so Noel would want him to play.

"After the game, I was talking to him briefly and I suppose he went out and did that for his dad and his mum Helen at home and his sister Áine."


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