28 Sept 2022

"I honestly didn't think there was that many people in Laois!" - Dunphy blown away with Laois support

"I honestly didn't think there was that many people in Laois!" - Dunphy blown away with Laois support

Willie Dunphy celebrates a score for Laois against Dublin in their All-Ireland Preliminary Quarter-Final at O'Moore Park. Picture: Alf Harvey

While everyone who played for Laois against Dublin in their victory worked tirelessly and played their part, there were certain individuals who stood out, and Willie Dunphy's second half performance was quality.

Having run himself to the ground, Dunphy looked out on his feet at full-time.

"I'm shaking to be honest. We knew we could it. I got a phone call Friday from a manager we had ten years ago with this minor group. We bet Dublin in a Leinster quarter-final and no one thought we could do it. He just rang me Friday and told me we have a great chance and we done it. 

"Other years it was just token gesture, but this year Eddie and the boys have just instilled this belief in us and we're on a winning streak now and we don't intend on stopping."

The Laois support came in waves, and Dunphy was astonished with the size of the following.

"I honestly didn't think there was that many people in Laois! I don't know where they're after coming out of, but the support, they just give you such a lift. Running out on to the field they're cheering ya, something we haven't heard before, but we're getting used to it and we want more of it."

Dublin rattled of four points to level, but Laois never faltered, and dug deep to march forward to victory.

"Just wanted time to be up to be honest, but Dublin came back at us and they got it back to a draw near the end. You're just thinking, oh, this is it now, same old Laois, but we clawed it back, and once we got ahead again we stayed ahead."

Dunphy put is his best individual display of the year so far, with his three second half scores instrumental in the win.

"Yeah look, I was just probably in the right place at the right time. I was disappointed there the first half, I hit a bad one. I didn't get a puck of it last week, and just had my day today."

It's beaten Munster finalists Tipperary up next, and Dunphy and Laois will relish another challenge.

"We're looking at Tipperary all year and they've just been unreal, but we'll knuckle down tomorrow and do our homework and build for them now next week." 

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