The Dublin hurlers claimed another big scalp with a demolition job on Galway in the Leinster SHC semifinal in Tullamore on Saturday night.
Anthony Daly’s side will now meet Kilkenny in a repeat of the league final, which they won, thanks to their 0-19 to 2-7 win over Galway.
“I’m thrilled to bits. It was a great victory tonight,” manager Daly told RTE after his side survived the second half dismissal of Ryan O’Dwyer to win through to the provincial decider.
“I suppose we were the best team throughout, but it’s hard to know. We were in the lead nearly all the way, but when we were down to 14 men and Galway scored their second goal it got a bit helter-skelter, but we held our nerve and held out to win.
“We felt ready for today. We’ve worked very hard all year and we felt we were ready for this. The performance would probably not be good enough to win a Leinster final, but it was all about getting over today.”
Kilkenny, still smarting from their league defeat, are next up for Dublin, with Daly already planning for the Croke Park showdown.
“We will take it one day at a time from now on and focus on ourselves. We can’t do anything about Kilkenny and all the great players they have. All we can do is get the best out of ourselves,” said Daly.
Galway boss John McIntyre was almost despondent after his team’s bad defeat to the Dubs.
“We’re all very disappointed. We had thrown a lot at this fixture over the past fortnight, like we needed to in the wake of our performance against Westmeath,” said McIntrye.
Criticism of McIntyre and his players is now rife in Galway, and the manager knows it.
He admitted, “I heard some of the comments coming off the field about management and players being a disgrace to Galway hurling. We have to live with that for the next fortnight. “But we’re going to stay together, we’re going to stay united and hopefully players will avail of the opportunity to retrieve their reputations, along with management, in the qualifiers.”