Dublin 1-11 drew with Roscommon 0-14 on May 28.
Dublin were sluggish as two late points from Conor Cox and Donie Smith rescued a draw for Roscommon in their All-Ireland series game at Croke Park on Sunday – and manager Dessie Farrell put that lack of sharpness down to a season in Division 2 of the National Football League.
A poor first half didn’t get much better when they trailed by four points with 30 minutes left on the clock before a revival of sorts that presented more questions than answers for Farrell and his selectors.
He told RTE Sport, “I think it’s from playing in Division 2, to be honest. No disrespect to the teams because there’s some very good teams in that division, but you’re not getting that consistency of challenge week in, week out that this phase of the competition is going to bring you.
“As I say, I’m happy to have encountered a challenge like that. We’ll definitely take a lot from it. It was a really competitive game. I’m probably disappointed we didn’t see it out at the end but I’d have taken a draw at halftime.
“We were very lackluster in the first half, struggled to come to terms with the step up in intensity and class, playing against a team well organized with a very good system. We got to regroup at halftime and presented a different Dublin opposition in the second half. Maybe overall it was a fair result.
“I’m very happy with the challenge. It was the first Division 1 team we’ve played all season. It was always going to be a step up in quality.”
Kildare at Nowlan Park are next up for Dublin and Farrell added, “We’ve had two very, very close encounters with Kildare. They’ve had a two-week window now so they’ll be well-rested, recovered, they’ll have their prep done.
“The six-day turnaround is definitely a challenge for us. A lot of weary limbs, sore bodies, a couple of knocks and bumps and bruises that we need to assess as well. For us, it’ll be about recovery, resetting. There won’t be an awful lot done this week.”
*This column first appeared in the May 31 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.