Dublin captain Chris Crummey has admitted Galway-born manager Mattie Kenny and selector Greg Kennedy were pumped up to beat their native county in last Saturday week’s Leinster SHC final round game.
The defender, who scored a goal in the crucial game in Parnell Park, can’t deny the pair’s intensity levels heightened the week of the game.
“Mattie and Greg are such passionate hurling men. The week of the game you could sort of see... I suppose it’s natural, I remember in my first year on the panel, we played Clare, down in Ennis, I was only on the panel I’d say two weeks under (Anthony) Daly. I remember Daly going on about the streets down there, walking in through Ennis. Now I wasn’t on the panel on the day but he was talking about that and you could just see how much it meant to him.
“It was sort of similar with Mattie and Greg...’Alright, this is Galway’. I think they probably wanted to beat their home county even more because there’s so much at stake. So I’d say I probably did notice it because they’re just that bit more on edge going into the game.”
Regarding his goal and winning a penalty that evening, the Lucan Sarsfields man put it down to luck:
I suppose I love getting forward. I would have played as a forward for my club a lot. But I was given a specific task that day to man-mark and I was lucky in the sense that I made two forward runs in the whole game and I got something from them.
Conal Keaney produced one of his finest displays in a Dublin jersey against his father Sylvie’s county, giving a further indication that at the age of 37 age is only a number.
“He’s a big leader for us in the dressing room and obviously on the pitch as well, he was phenomenal against Galway. He’s done that for Dublin so many times and he’s just a big leader in our dressing room.
“I suppose you always have question marks because there’s not so many people around playing hurling at his age that you think…but like he’s just a different animal. He defies all those myths around age and people have to retire when they get to 30. I think it’s rubbish now, he’s nearly 37 and was our best player on the night so it’s great.”
In their preliminary quarter-final the weekend after next, Dublin face the winners of Sunday’s Joe McDonagh Cup final away and Crummey anticipates a battle whether it’s Laois or Westmeath.
“We played Laois twice this year and won by a point in both games. So that tells you the level they’re. Then obviously Westmeath are at a similar level.
“We know we have to be at our best to win. We played Westmeath and Laois at underage — there was a particularly strong Westmeath team at my age and we were lucky to get over them. It’s nothing new playing Laois or Westmeath and we know how difficult a task it will be.”