Cody ‘very relieved’ after Reid’s late point denies Dublin a famous victory
‘I think we proved a good bit to ourselves today,’ says Dubs’ boss Anthony Daly
Dublin manager Anthony Daly: “I I felt a big performance coming out of the boys.”Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Almost is the cruellest word. TJ Reid is to blame. His Lazarus-like return from a shattered kneecap, sustained in the closing moments of last September’s All-Ireland final replay, denied Dublin their first championship scalp of Kilkenny since 1942.
Reid only arrived at half-time of yesterday’s Leinster senior hurling semi-final and he was prowling the square’s edge in the 73rd minute with Dublin leading by a point. A reflex strike squared it all up.
Dublin, of course, get a second chance against the All-Ireland champions back in O’Moore Park next Saturday at 7pm. It could be historic. Or it could be an awfully cruel beating. What makes it so special is nobody really knows what will happen next.
What we do know is what Brian Cody tells us.
“We escaped with the last puck of the game,” said Kilkenny’s manager, leaning serenely against the wall underneath the main stand. “I’m very relieved.”
There was a ‘but’ coming.
“But there is no sense in the dressing room that the job is fully done. They are fully determined in their heads to drive it on but Dublin were excellent in the second half. They outhurled us.”
They. Outhurled. Us.
That sounded like a direct message to his players. This was not the Dublin that Kilkenny pounded into submission on this same patch of grass 12 months ago.
“I’m saying for a long time how good Dublin are. We approached this game in a massively serious way, like we did last year. I was conscious that Dublin had two Leinster championship games behind them which is very, very good preparation but there is a huge amount of quality in their team.”
And there’s Anthony Daly as well. The man who led The Banner from obscurity to All-Ireland titles in the 1995 and 1997 dearly wants his high-water mark as Dublin manager to be more than the 2011 National League title.
“I’m a bit hoarse from (roaring) three weeks in a row, but I’ll have to get a bit of honey or something,” said Daly in typical Daly fashion.
“Look, I thought we had it, but they went up and got a good equaliser so we live to fight again next Saturday night. We’ll be ready for it.”
What made Dublin so competitive today? “Sure, you just don’t get it. Ah no, I felt a big performance coming out of the boys.”
Speaking of Clare, Jimmy Barry Murphy’s young Cork side flattened them in yesterday’s Munster semi-final. They had eight points to spare in front of a 19,049 crowd at the Gaelic Grounds.
But Portlaoise was the place to be. The travelling city hoards in the 9,674 attendance grew in confidence watching Michael Fennelly and Henry Shefflin having a puck about on the field beforehand while their fit teammates warmed up properly.
The two took their seats in the stand. Neither will be fit by Saturday but Jackie Tyrrell will probably replace the injured Paul Murphy.
“I think we’ve a great chance,” Daly added. “I think we proved a good bit to ourselves today. People were seriously doubting us and the boys are going away very disappointed, there is no one clapping anyone on the back .”