Daire Plunkett glad Dublin hurlers have got to basics

After defeat to Tipperary, beating Galway came brought much-needed relief

Nothing stings like embarrassment. The Dublin team that had been left prone and naked by Tipperary the previous week at least got enough out of Saturday night against Galway to cover themselves up and regain some of their decency. For midfielder Daire Plunkett, they had little choice in the matter. Turn up or tune out.

“Huge difference,” he sighed in the wake of Dublin’s 1-17 to 0-13 win at Parnell Park. “I think we were all very disappointed after last week. We knew that was not good enough. We love playing here. We love Parnell Park. I think we just got back to our basics, just got back to our plan. And you saw the result was a lot different.

“We had a very honest meeting after the match last week. We all knew it wasn’t good enough. We looked for a reaction this week and I think we got it. I don’t know if I can say [what was said in the meeting]. Just everyone having a long hard look at ourselves. Looking back at the video, there were so many things that we went away from.

“Things that we just didn’t do, that we didn’t implement. When you don’t have those basics, you’ve no chance really starting off. Our work rate wasn’t anything near what it needed to be. Our use of the ball was very sloppy. We really focused on putting them right this week and thankfully we did that.”


This far down the road, Dublin don't have a warren of rabbits to be pulling out of hats. As Plunkett says, shorn of intensity and sweat, they haven't a whole lot to fall back on. In that, they met what Joey from Friends might call their Identical Hand Twins on the weekend. Galway didn't put in anything approaching a shift, therefore Galway got horsed out the gate.

‘One-on-one battle’

“When you’re winning you’re one-on-one battle, when you have a collision with a man, you have to win it. Tipp came out on top last week. This week, we came out on top on more of them. It’s very easy to play when you have to ball but it’s a lot harder to play when you don’t have it.

For Plunkett, this a second go-round with Dublin. Pacy and athletic rather than outrageously skilled, he was a core part of Anthony Daly’s early teams before falling out of favour and off the panel.

Having won a league title as a starter in 2011, Plunkett didn’t play a game of any kind for Dublin between April 2012 and January 2015.

“I’m just looking to play at the highest level. I was very disappointed not to have been involved but I’m just cherishing it now. I’m 26 now and looking at another four or five years and that’s it.”

Malachy Clerkin

Malachy Clerkin

Malachy Clerkin is a sports writer with The Irish Times