DUBLIN captain Finn McGarry insists they need to seize their final chance at claiming provincial silverware in tonight’s Bord Gáis Energy Leinster U21HC decider against Wexford in Parnell Park at 7.30pm (live on TG4).
For McGarry and teammates Oisin Gough, Peter Kelly and David Treacy, this clash represents their last stab at Leinster honours, having been thwarted by Kilkenny the past two years.
“We’re very conscious of getting the win. In 2008, with the 2005 win (at minor), we fancied ourselves to go on and win the Leinster at least, but we really underperformed and we lost to Kilkenny by, it must have been 12 points in the semi-final. Then, in 2009, we came back better and beat Wexford handy enough and then lost to Kilkenny in the final. So this is the third time coming around for a few of us and the last chance.”
Dublin enter the match on the back of a stunning triumph over Kilkenny at the semi-final stage but McGarry is adamant the Cats hurling teams provide no fear for this bunch of Dublin players. The U21 win served as a timely boost for Dublin hurling after their seniors had been obliterated by Kilkenny the previous Sunday.
“Lads my age anyway never feared Kilkenny. Since we were 15, 16, 17 we were always there or thereabouts with Kilkenny. So we didn’t have a fear of them that some teams do if they’re going down to Kilkenny. We knew Kilkenny, after beating Offaly so comprehensively, might have not taken us as serious as we took ourselves. I don’t know what the mood around the county was but it was a good lift. We had a lot of senior lads, getting texts off them after the match that it was a joy to watch. It did lift them, yeah.”
McGarry is the substitute netminder for the Dublin seniors behind regular shot-stopper Gary Maguire, a position he also fills at club level as both feature for Ballyboden St Enda’s. That may seem like a frustrating experience to be warming the bench but McGarry enjoys the high standards of training between the duo.
“It’s great for myself training with Gary and I know it’s the same for him, We get the top training with the county and we can keep it going for the whole year, especially the last three years, we’ve been going until November with the club because we’ve been in the Leinster Championship. We get to train with each other which brings us on a ton.”
Meanwhile, Wexford captain Eoin Doyle is hopeful his team can improve on their poor second-half performance against Carlow in the semi-final when they were almost overhauled by the Barrowsiders before scraping to a three-point victory.
“In the second half we were disappointed with ourselves to let Carlow back into it. We were disappointed with ourselves too with how we slackened off and dropped our intensity. We’re looking to improve and hopefully play for the 60 minutes on Wednesday night. Wexford have been starved of titles for the last few years and that only makes us hungrier for Wednesday night and hopefully we can win.”
DUBLIN U21H: F McGarry; R Walsh, D Kelly, O Gough; R O’Loughlin, M Quilty, P Kelly; C Clinton, P Buckeridge; S Stapleton, L Rushe, D Plunkett; B O’Rorke, D Treacy, N McMorrow.
WEXFORD U21H: M Fanning; B McCormack, M O’Hanlon, E Doyle; S Murphy, A Shore, M O’Hanlon; E Moore, M O’Regan; L Óg McGovern, S Tomkins, H Kehoe; E Kent, J Gahan, J Reck.
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