# championship picks
Time off the only speedbump for Dublin hurlers - Cummins
The Tipperary goalkeeper believes the Leinster champions have what it takes to go all the way this summer.

TIPPERARY GOALKEEPER BRENDAN Cummins may be out of the championship, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be keeping just as close an eye as ever as the small ball reaches Croke Park.

And having been on the wrong end of the depth of feeling contained in Limerick hurling when the Premier County fell in the Munster semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds, Cummins thinks John Allen’s men can continue to ride the wave into Dublin.

“Limerick have momentum now. It’s a huge thing,” Cummins says. “[After] two games in their own back garden. Beating Tipperary was a massive win.

“To see supporters coming out onto the pitch. While I was on the losing side of that, you could get the emotion of the day walking off the pitch. The same thing happened below when they beat Cork.

“When they get up to Croke Park, every man, woman and child from Limerick will be here. And there is some passion in that county when they get going.”

“They learned from 2012. They’re holding players back now to come on and that goes to show how well John Allen has the group bet in together. Because normally a player being left out is sulking or crying or ringing the manager the following day to find out why he wasn’t playing. But these Limerick boys…they know where they fit in the jigsaw and they’re prepared to give for the group, no matter whether they’re playing or not. And that’s the trademark of a great manager; John Allen is using them at the right time.

“If you think about it, twelve months ago, when we played Limerick, we beat them with our bench. Twelve months later, they beat us with their bench. So I mean that’s just a sign that they are learning. They’re a dangerous team.”

The snag for the Shannonsiders is that Kilkenny remain a very real possibility in the semi-final, but it is the other assured semi-finalist which Cummins views as best bet of winning the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2013.

Cummins’ Tipperary demolished Anthony Daly’s side in the league, but the ‘keeper knows that competition has little bearing now in the white hot heat of the summer.

Hot and heavy

“Don’t mind what we did to them in the League semi-final. Dublin had a training camp the week before and they had it fairly hot and heavy so they were very leggy coming into that game and you could see the way they played,” he says.

“Anthony Daly now has turned it ‘round. He knows…the old dog for the hard road…that Championship is when it counts.”

The 38-year-old had one caveat for Hill16, though. The price you pay for success is a lay-off from the intensity of competitive matches.

“The only thing about these teams is the six week lay-off. It will test their panels, test their training games. And if they do those right, it could be a Limerick/Dublin All-Ireland final. Who’d have thought that back in January? It’s magic stuff.”

“I think if Dublin can get that six week lay-off out of the way, they can do it. Absolutely. The energy and the ball winners they have are just scary. They’re athletes with hurleys and they have skill that is growing with every match.

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