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Anthony Daly wary of 'battle-hardened' Kilkenny

Updated: Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 14:52 | Comments

Dublin beat Kilkenny in the league earlier this season
Dublin beat Kilkenny in the league earlier this season

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Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly has dismissed the suggestion that Kilkenny's two-game series against Galway will hinder them in Sunday's Leinster final.

This time last year Dublin had battled through Leinster quarter-final and semi-final replays, against Wexford and the Cats, before beating Galway in the provincial decider.

It took Brian Cody's men two games to see off Galway's challenge, eventually prevailing by eight points in Tullamore last Saturday. 

Daly told RTÉ Sport: "This week last year everybody told us that we wouldnt have the legs to go the fifth week in a row, but we flew against Galway, scored [2-25] and won the Leinster title.

"In some ways, people will say they are more battle-hardened than we are."

"People will say they are more battle-hardened than we are"

The Leinster champions enjoyed an 11-week break between the league and their semi-final win over Wexford three weeks ago. 

The Clare man feels that this sets them up nicely as they attempt to put back-to-back provincial titles together for the first time since 1942. 

Daly said: "We had a real tough battle against Wexford. It was a real test of our character and our hurling, and I thought we came through it with great maturity.

"We had the three-week gap to the final and I think that's nearly perfect.

"I think our lads are ready to go.I just want the absolute best performance we can get out of ourselves and we’ll have an old look up at the scoreboard at the end and see how’s that fixed."

Former Limerick star Stephen McDonagh agrees and fancies Dublin to repeat the trick of their shock win over Kilkenny last season.

“I think it’ll be open and it’ll probably depend on how Kilkenny react to the third game in three weeks,” McDonagh told RTÉ Sport. “That’s going to be a big ask.

“Dublin are coming in a bit cold but they seem to be on a mission this year and I fancy them to do quite well after a tricky game in Wexford park .

“It’s hard to turn your back on Kilkenny because they’ve done it so many times but I just feel, the third match in a row mightn’t help them, the open spaces of Croke Park too for some of the older lads it mightn’t help them, so I’ll tentatively go for Dublin.”

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