Dublin minor hurling manager Mike Connolly has taken many positives from last Sunday's Leinster MHC display against Kilkenny as they focus on this Saturday's clash with Laois in O'Moore Park, Portlaoise (3.30).
The young Dubs (U17) were level with the Cats in last weekend's Leinster MHC Tier 1 round-robin opener in Parnell Park before Kilkenny finished with a scoring flurry of 1-5 to run out 3-23 to 4-12 victors, with Dublin full-forward Luke Swan tallying 3-1 overall.
“We were certainly in the match. Kilkenny are recognised as the top team at this level at the moment. We’ve close the gap, I thought, considerably since late last summer," says Mike.
“While it would have been good to win I think that we certainly are a good bit further along the curve than we thought we were.
“I’m not overly disappointed. I felt that an awful lot of younger players showed that they’re up to hurling at this level.
“The last couple of years the senior team has been in transition and a lot of people have been a bit down about that. But at these levels, we’ve kept going and we have as much potential as anyone out there across the country.
“People have to look at the bigger picture and the longer term, instead of getting over or under-excited about a given day,” adds the Dublin manager.
The young Dubs are pooled in Tier 1 with Kilkenny, Wexford and Laois with all four guaranteed progression to the Leinster MHC quarter-finals.
What the round-robin games will decide is who they face in the quarter-final stages.
Tier 2 comprises Offaly, Meath, Antrim, Kildare and Tier 3 Carlow, Westmeath and Down.
2018 Leinster MHC - Dublin's schedule: Round 1, (Sunday May 13) Dublin 4-12 Kilkenny 3-23, Parnell Park (12.0); Round 2, Saturday May 19 v Laois, O'Moore Park, Portlaoise (3.30); Round 3, May 25 home v Wexford.