Dublin got back to action and back to winning ways with an emphatic seven point win over a young Carlow side in the O’Byrne Cup at Dr. Cullen Park on Sunday.
Luke Dempsey’s team afforded the All-Ireland champions a guard of honor before a game that saw Dublin record a 0-6 to 0-4 interval lead.
Now unbeaten since losing the NFL final to Cork last May, manager Pat Gilroy was happy with Dublin’s opening performance of the year.
“We’ve worked very hard this week and fellas worked hard to get into that game, so we’d be very happy with their application,” said the Dublin manager.
“It was a good run out for us. Tomas Quinn played well and has obviously been training hard himself over the winter and kept himself in good condition, as a lot of them do.
“Our shooting in the first half was appalling but you expect that at time of year, when fellas are heavy legged. Hopefully it improves in the coming weeks.”
Dublin trained early in the morning last week, and Gilroy said his players had responded well to the early alarm calls.
“They were champing at the bit to get out and I suppose the weather isn’t too bad either so that maybe helped. There has been great enthusiasm shown for it,” said Gilroy.
“Look, it’s only for a couple of weeks that we do that. It gets them back into it and means lads aren’t out every night of the week.”
Well regarded Dublin footballer David Henry, meanwhile, has brought the curtain down on his inter-county career after 10 years in the blue jersey. The 31-year-old opted out after a meeting with team boss Gilroy at the weekend.
Former Dublin manager Paul Caffrey led the tributes to Raheny star Henry. “They say nice guys don’t always come out on top but Davy Henry proved that wrong. In my nine years with Dublin, he was one of the nicest fellas I’ve ever dealt with,” Caffrey said.
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NEW Waterford manager Michael Ryan has claimed that star hurler Eoin Kelly was dropped from the county panel over concerns about his fitness.
The former all-star was a shock absentee when Ryan named his training squad for the 2012 season, with the manager forced to explain himself on local radio station WLR FM, when he claimed that Kelly had performed poorly in a fitness test and then “refused to meet with management to discuss their concerns.”
Ryan said: “We met with Eoin Kelly in October as we did a number of other players. He was then brought in for a fitness assessment and a gym program for seven weeks.
“At the end of seven weeks, he was called in, as the rest of the players were, and given a fitness test by Pat Flanagan. The results of that test were disappointing, to be honest.
“I then contacted Eoin and I said to him that we were going to invite him to join the panel for the month of January and see would that make any difference, on one condition that he came in and met us.
“He refused to meet us and I said to him very specifically, ‘Eoin, do you realize by not meeting us the consequences of your decision?’
“He said, ‘I do.’ I said, ‘Okay, will you think about that overnight and I’ll come back and talk to you tomorrow?’ So I rang him again the following day and again, Eoin said that he hadn’t changed his mind. That was exactly as he felt.
“So, in effect, Eoin Kelly has effectively ruled himself out of the squad for the moment.”
FERMANAGH boss Peter Canavan made a winning start in his new job as his adopted county beat Antrim in the McKenna Cup on Sunday as big full-forward Seamus Quigley scored a goal and eight points on the day.