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Kelly: Dubs primed for Tribesmen
29 May 2015 08:08
Dublin’s Peter Kelly expects Sunday's showdown with Galway in the Leinster SHC quarter-final to go “down to the wire” but is confident it will be Dublin who prevail at Croke Park.
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Speaking to RTÉ Sport, joint-captain Kelly, who shares the duties with Liam Rushe, said: “We know Galway. We know exactly what to expect.
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“We know to expect a very tough team, a very tough game that will probably come down to the wire.
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“We haven’t really thought of the loss element, even though it’s a reality. We’re just focusing on our own performance because we know if we perform to our own ability, we know the result will take care of itself.”
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The 26-year-old full-back sees plenty of positives from facing a tricky championship opener, preferring a tough test to lining out against less challenging opposition.
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“You take every game seriously. But when you’re coming up against an All-Ireland contender in the first round, it definitely does focus the mind a bit more,” said Kelly.
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“I’m not saying we gave any more or less respect to other teams but definitely, when you come up against a tough game in the first round, you’re definitely tuned in.”
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Dublin have had a patchy record at best against the Tribesmen over the years, but the one bright, shining light to fall back on is the stunning 12-point win over Galway to win the 2013 Leinster title and end a 52-year wait to lift the trophy.
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“To lift any sort of silverware, especially as a Dublin player, is quite rare. So to set a goal to lift the Bob O’Keefe Cup and get there in the end [in 2013], especially after five tough weeks of games with the replays, was definitely a pivotal moment for Dublin hurling,” said Kelly.
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Winning that title changed the mindset in the Dublin camp. The approach switched and has stuck, even though 2014 saw results slip, to setting and maintaining their own high standards, rather than just raising their game for each occasion.
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“I suppose in previous years we were playing a lot on emotion, trying to get through. Like that five-game campaign we were definitely getting through on emotion and how much we wanted to win each game.
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“There is [now] much more focusing on the things that will lead to a good performance. We're measuring ourselves against them, against how many points we put over the bar, how many hooks and blocks we get.
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“So we're kind of breaking it down a lot more that if we hit these targets, we'll perform well and that's what we're focusing on for Galway.”
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Looking further ahead, the Lucan Sarsfields man added: “We've got some big wins under our belt already this year and hopefully it'll stand to us in the summer.”
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