Dublin U21 Hurling Championship 2017


Yes, the team was very young and lacked the physicality for the tactic of running through the kilkenny backs which often works at minor but wont work at this level unless you have strong physical lads like O Riain . Its very disappointing for the team after all the hard work put in over the last 6 months for this one match. You would have to wonder if they would have been better training a bit more with their clubs than all the 21’s training.


Just watched it. Fully a sign of a team that wasn’t a team. Obvious they had little or no time together over the last few months. Mcguirk should just not have been let take this on. His in game management is far too slow. Balls out to the corner, constant taking balls in contact, silly shooting, no gameplan,individuals and poor line management. Was Dara Gray injured? He was the better of the two corner backs and they brought on a player that didn’t look comfortable. Puckouts were so 1 dimensional and it was obvious they hit Conroy every time yet he wasn’t catching any. (They then bring him back to half back? Against the wind. One of our best forwards!) The game was crying out for Sean O Rian and O Sullivan. O Rian never appreared.
I hope he was injured. He was a thorn in the side of every full back last year. Young players brought on straight from minor who had little or no impact. Hendrick did well, all the lad from Brigids wanted to do was fight. He was sent off last year as a minor also? Barrett very poor by his standards. O Dea won some good ball but we never seemed to win the dirty ball the 21s won last year. Even the commentators mentioned this. our forwards looked full of running and energy there was no aggression or natural ball winning in them bar Currie. As Cdg said why wasn’t Currie told to take his man on every time? He had the beatings of him. Burke looks like a tired young lad. He is doing a lot for a young man. McBride is one for the future but he needs a serious talking to about his shooting from silly places. It was the same last year vs Galway. Tendency for amazing scores but it’s the simple ones you need to.
Overall this was a great chance for a very good team. It was lost on the line as much as the pitch.




Joe Fortune won a Leinster title and was one score away from playing in an All Ireland with a limited enough bunch of players. He had huge respect and loyalty from the squad he was in charge of.

Apart from being a top class player what are Eddie Brennan’s credentials when it comes inter county management?


One thing for sure is I’ve seen a lot of Dublin teams/players improve under him. Talk to the players he has managed. Most of our current senior team/walkaways/dropped were managed by him. I agree on Mcguirk.


Coached Lisdowney to a KK Junior championship title in 2013.


This team have been together since November. Just didn’t happen for them the manger can only do so much can’t play the game for them. Maybe him and joe together would have been better with Mcguirk getting experience from him as joe was the manager the previous year. I do agree Sean o riain should’ve started for me great in the air something we lacked yesterday.


The difference for me in the two teams last night was athleticism, Kilkenny were generally faster and more flexible to off load in a tackle. But this is a very good Kilkenny team and they could well go all the way, so there is no great shame in defeat. But the lack of natural athleticism is going to be a problem for Dublin as the best we have in this area also tend to be the best footballers.

The wides are mentioned above a bit, but the wind was horrific. It was very strong and directly into one corner. Both teams suffered equally from wides.

PP2017 critiques the management a bit with good points, and in hindsight there is stuff that could have been done. But I don’t think there was much that would have changed the outcome really. But in general I thought all the first years u21s didn’t adapt well to the physicality of the step up, which shows the madness of thinking they could do a job at senior county level. McBride is our best U21, he was our best minor 3 years ago and they only put him on at half time in the senior game.

I actually don’t think Burke was tired as mentioned. I think that is his level. He is a first year U21, and for that age he played quiet well. He isn’t a superstar, he could well grow into one, but he isn’t now and I don’t think anyone should expect it of him just because Cunningham decided to make a point with him. Young O Sullivan came on, also a great young lad, but he showed too that he is just barely ready for U21 let alone starting against the AI champions at senior level. These guys are fabulous talents, they need to be nurtured not battered by guys much older and bigger.

I thought things could have been moved around a bit more, but in a 60 minute game it is hard. I would have put Conroy to FF and bought Burke out. It might have helped both of them. Conroy wasn’t great in the air, but he was effective from general play throughout.

Someone bought this notion to Dublin of going for a high ball with the hurl and keeping a hand free to catch the ball, and it is a disaster. It just doesn’t work against good hurlers but it has damaged a generation of Dublin hurlers. I could pick out a Dublin team playing a mile away just by the amount of guys that do this.

Also the short ball out of defence is so drilled into them now that they play it even when it isn’t on. Generally I agree with keeping possession. But in a choice between giving a 50/50 ball 3 yards away or 70 yards away, the 70 yard option is infinitely preferable. Even if there is nothing on when you play it, by the time the ball arrives people have time to get into position. We gave away a mountain of ball by playing it short to guys who hadn’t time or space to react. It is forgotten the guy receiving the ball has to catch it and turn, the guy marking him just has to break it. He has all the advantages.

But really I thought the team didn’t play as well or as cohesively as I think they can. But it was their first competitive game and they had to make early changes which didn’t help. If they had got a few more games before playing KK it might have been better.

On the managerial thing mentioned above, I would have to say that the Dublin team that I have seen most play above themselves and with good team work was last years U21s. So for me Fortune seems to know what he is about. But that is based on a small sample size as they say. I would still think Boland was one of our most impressive managers at under age though.


Both teams hit wides in equal measure, and KK could well win the AI. The wind was very disruptive.


19 wides versus wexford last year in u21 quarter final
22 wides versus galway in the AI Semi last year
20 plus wides last night

Minors same in CP last year versus Limerick

It’s a huge problem . Why can’t we produce forwards who can score or is that we lose all the good ones to football


Likely the later. Not all but a lot and sometimes the best.


not all the good ones, but enough to make building a team more difficult. bennett was a huge loss last night in terms of scoring forwards.


The 4 best underage forwards in the last 6 years have been Costello , Kilkenny , Con and Bennett .
And we’ve none of them currently .


Costello doesn’t get a huge amount of love from the Jim Gavin and Bennett could be back in the future.


He’s dabbled his hands in the Dublin club scene with little success. He’s managed underage players to a lenister title. Its a different galaxy managing a senior intercounty team. Can you not see that ? He’s no record dealing with men and you want to give him the top job in Dublin hurling ?


A question here from someone with next to no knowledge of the hurling setup / scene . But if we lack the skills set to compete how come a club like Cuala managed to win the AI club championship. How many of that team are with the senior panel . What are doing there in that club which got them to that level ? Again probably all stupid questions but humour me :thinking:




I don’t know why people say we lack the skills, if a football team isn’t doing well people don’t say they lack the skills, generally it is just said they aren’t good enough. And that is the same here, we just weren’t good enough to beat Kilkenny - but very possibly no other team in Ireland will be either, so I wouldn’t get overly upset about it. I don’t think every defeat should be turned into a ‘whats wrong with Dublin hurling’ debate.

But, I don’t think you can equate club stuff with county. Antrim and Limerick have won club titles and they aren’t going to win All Irelands. But what I think is important is that we are Leinster minor and u21 champions and are in the final of both the minor and U17 championship this year - so we aren’t far away. But yes, we face special difficulties because of the pre-eminence of football in the county. In general, I think if you leave the dysfunctional basket case that is the senior hurling panel out of it, Dublin hurling is in a reasonable position. I would love to win an underage title, and I thought this u21 team had a shot - but 7 or 8 other counties thinks the same of their county, so everyone can’t be right.

If I was to introduce one thing thought to help the county team along it would be to have one person responsible for the transition from minor onwards (or maybe even u16). It would be their job to keep in constant contact with guys and make sure they are being treated right and they are generally in a good place. You would pick maybe 20 minors each year and they get special management until they are 21. This would involve as much life skills and how to cope juggling the GAA with everything else, as much as hurling training. They would have the final say (above and beyond team managers) on what these guys play and what teams they can play for.


a director of hurling role ??

i’m not knocking it per se but wonder why do Tipp, Galway, Kilkenny Waterford not need something similar, I know 2 counties dont have the dual player issue and galway geogrraphy dictates they don’t really either

Might be hard to get co managers appointed with that hanging over their head and also who would be eminently qualified to carry out such a role


We cannot afford to get this one wrong

It’s either Mattie Kenny or Anthony Cunningham for me