IF GOALSCORING DOES not usually fall within the remit of Chris Crummey, he picked an opportune time to make his mark in that sector for the Dublin hurlers.
With the Leinster championship balanced on a knife-edge in Parnell Park last Saturday week, the Dublin captain made his critical intervention.
By firing home their third goal of the night, his 67th minute strike proved instrumental in consigning Galway to an early summer exit and leaving Dublin buoyant as hurling in July awaits.
For a player who carved his reputation out of being an imposing presence in the half-back line, the goal and his raid upfield to win a penalty that was netted, offered evidence of an expansion of his role.
“Nah I don’t think I have (scored a goal before for Dublin). I wouldn’t be much of a goalscorer, I generally go for the points, but I was so close in at that time that I could only score a goal.
“Management and the keepers would tell you that the hardest shots to save are those that are bouncing in front of them. I was probably conscious of that, to hit it low and into the corner, and thankfully it went in.
“I enjoy going forward. I would have played as a forward a lot with my club and in the underage as well. Luckily in the Galway game I made two runs forward the whole game and those two runs we got scores out of them.
“I think when the game is so intense like that you just play it as you see it. If you see an opportunity to get forward, we’re told to do so.”
Chris Crummey was today at the launch of Leisureplex’s ‘Share Your Summer’ campaign.
The post-match euphoria was tinged with regret when word filtered through from Wexford that victory was not sufficient to propel Dublin into the Leinster final.
But it was still a landmark win in Crummey’s senior career, the Parnell Park setting apposite for such a feat.
“The initial reaction after the game was great because we thought we were going to a Leinster final and then about 10 or 15 minutes later it was a bit bittersweet when you found out you weren’t in a Leinster final.
“It was a phenomenal experience. I suppose it being in Parnell Park probably made it a bit more special. There was such a big crowd there and the way the game went, the fact that it was so close, to get over the line was unbelievable.
“Players love playing in those types of atmospheres and it’s something that we relish and look forward to. You’d probably take coming third and still being in an All-Ireland series.”
Dublin’s progress has been a mixture of established pillars continuing to stand tall and new elements at play.
The influence of veteran Conal Keaney endures in the team.
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Conal Keaney celebrates after Dublin’s victory over Galway.
Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
“Conal is a massive leader in our dressing room and on the pitch,” says Crummey.
“He leads by his actions more than anything else. Against Galway, he was inspirational for the rest of the team.
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“You look at his performances, with the footballers and with us, he delivers when it really matters. That’s the sign of a great player.”
The presence of Dessie Farrell in their backroom team has provided a fresh spark for the Dublin hurlers.
“I would have know Dessie since I was 13 and with the development squads,” outlines Crummey.
“I’m very comfortable and familiar with him. His role is basically as an adviser to us as players, if we have any questions, we can go to Dessie – he helps us out.
“I find he’s an easy person to talk with if you’ve any questions regarding the game or anything regarding the setup. He always has time to give you advice.”
Dessie Farrell is currently helping out in the Dublin hurling ranks.
Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
Crummey’s interest in Sunday’s schedule in Croke Park will hone in on the pursuit of Joe McDonagh Cup honours between Laois and Westmeath with outcome determining Dublin’s next opponents.
Still he’s perfectly placed to judge the Leinster final, a recent eyewitness to the capabilities of Kilkenny and Wexford while having shared the DCU dressing-room with members of both camps.
“It’s going to be very tight. Two brilliant teams with great sets of players. I think Kilkenny might just have the edge. TJ Reid, he was quiet the last day and it’s hard to keep him quiet on two occasions.
“If he performs to his level, that might be enough. Kilkenny are getting a lot of players back and it might just be falling at the right time.”
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