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All-Ireland Winner Explains Why Dublin Hurling Needs 'Cop On Moment'

All-Ireland Winner Explains Why Dublin Hurling Needs 'Cop On Moment'
By PJ Browne Updated
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Shane McGrath says the Dublin hurlers need to have a "cop on moment" just like he and his Tipperary teammates had during the noughties.

Dublin were knocked out the All-Ireland Hurling Championship on Saturday following an 18-point defeat to Clare at the quarter-final stage. Donal Burke, by far Dublin's top scorer going into the game, went off injured just eight minutes.

McGrath says Dublin have become far too reliant on the Na Fianna man.

"From my own experience, as someone who was one of the players that depended a lot on a player," McGrath, an All-Ireland winner in 2010, told the RTÉ GAA podcast.

"Eoin Kelly was winning All-Stars for us when we were going terrible. I remember the first championship match I played in was against Limerick and Eoin Kelly scored 14 points, and he could have scored eight of them from play.

"We just got into a stage where... and a couple of years before I joined Tipp, we got into a stage where [we thought] 'Eoin will get us out of it, it's fine'. It took us nearly until Sheedy took over to say 'The rest of us have to start doing something here and stop relying on one lad like in a club game'.

"I don't know how Dublin people feel about this, but I think that's the way it is with Donal Burke. There is a reliance on him. He was averaging 11 points a game coming into the game [against Clare]. He goes off injured.


28 May 2023; Donal Burke of Dublin in action against Padraic Mannion of Galway during the Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 5 match between Dublin and Galway at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

"In fairness to Cian O'Sullivan, he stepped up and scored 10 frees. What Donal Burke gives you... it's the attention he takes. I just don't know if they have the other players to really take on the mantle when he steps away. Until they do, I just don't see them making real progress.


"I was a player who relied on someone until we had a cop on moment to say 'The rest of us need to start doing something here'. The rest of them need to say, 'The day Donal Burke's not there, the day it's not happening [for him], we usually don't win games'.

"If they really want to make progress, really want to push on, I think they need another one or two guys up in the forward line in particular to step up and say 'We'll grab this by the scruff of the neck if it's not happening for you today Donal'."

24 June 2023; The two managers, Dublin manager Micheál Donoghue and Clare hurling manager Brian Lohan, shake hands after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter Final match between Clare and Dublin at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Speaking on the Sunday Game, McGrath's fellow Tipperary man Liam Sheedy said Dublin manager Micheál Donoghue has done a "fine job" this season but he can't see the county winning an All-Ireland hurling title any time soon.

"He's ha a lot of high profile absentees over the course of the year," said Sheedy.


"Ronan Hayes is injured. He's working from a limited pool, and he's had to blood a lot of new players, which is never easy.

"Ultimately, I think he's doing as much as he can with what he has. Are Dublin any closer to winning an All-Ireland? I don't really think so.

"If you go back to 2011 and 2013, they contested All-Ireland semi-finals. If you look at that Dublin team today, I just don't think they're ready to make that step.


"I think he's done well to get them into the top three in Leinster. If you said to me, 'Could they win an All-Ireland in the next five years?' I would emphatically say no.

"They do need to rethink and reengage about where they can take Dublin hurling over the next number of years. It's just ticking along in my view."

See Also: 35 Standout Names Playing Hurling In America This Summer

Picture credits: Sportsfile

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