McGUIRK’S MINORS MAKING STRIDES AHEAD OF MINOR HURLING SEMI FINAL
By tomorrow it will have been one calendar month since the Dublin Minor hurlers overcame the threat of Wexford to claim their 15th Leinster Minor Championship. With extra time looming that day, up stepped Johnny McGuirk Jnr and Donal Burke with two late goals to see them over the line and collect the silverware
This Sunday, Dublin boss Johnny McGuirk send his men onto the luscious lawn of Croke Park to size up Limerick in hopes of sealing only their 11th All Ireland Final spot in minor history.
It’s no secret that Dublin’s defence more than their attack has steered the ship so far this year and in the Leinster Final the plaudits would have been duly given to the Full Back line of Jack O’Neill, Paddy Smyth and Donnacha Ryan who kept the threat of the Wexford forwards away enough to finish the job.
In their four games so far in the Championship Dublin have only conceded one goal, which speaks volumes on how well set up their defensive game is. But McGuirk is confident all the cogs in the engine will turn in the right direction for each other come Sunday.
“There has been a huge improvement in the last few weeks in terms of their sharpness, movement and interplay”, Johnny told the Herald, “and I expect them to carry on that form into the game on Sunday”
“We gave them a week off after the Leinster Final but the lads have come back in great form”.
After losing to Wexford in the qualifier preceding the Leinster competition, Dublin went on to comfortably beat Laois, ran Kilkenny to extra time before out performing them in the additional 20 minutes to run out winners by 2 scores. And that brings us to the aforementioned Final where they got their revenge on Wexford to collect the title.
But now it’s down to business now, and on Sunday, Limerick will bring a different animal to face the boys in blue.
“Limerick are a fine side who are physically powerful and well organised”, McGuirk admitted.
“They also have Anthony (Daly) in their back room team so that adds something too”.
“That Leinster win is forgotten about now and we have two more challenges and obstacles to overcome”.
If anything this year, the team is growing in stature, with their performance against Kilkenny back in May showing amazing character against a side that most would lie down and die against over an hour if they were playing catch up. Now is the time to see if any little inconsistencies in passing, shape, and movement have been smoothed around the edges.
“We need to be ready to go from the first whistle and I’m confident that our attitude will be spot on for the match”.
“To win any championship, you need to peak at the right time and I feel that the attacking players are all coming into form at the right time by what we have seen in training”.
“It’s going to take a really good team to stop them on Sunday”.