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Liam Rushe is relieved that Dublin got their NHL Division 1A campaign off to a winning start with a 1-17 to 0-13 win over Galway at Parnell Park on Saturday.
The St Patricks, Palmerstown centre back was particularly pleased that the Dubs bounced back so emphatically from the opening weekend 1-23 to 0-12 defeat to Tipperary at Semple Stadium.
"It is such a small division, with five matches and just two at home, so it was very important not to lose two on the bounce," he told Setanta Sports.
"We got through last year with two wins, and there were four teams on the same points. We know how tight it is, but I suppose it brings an extra bite and realism to the league."
Rushe says Dublin were "bullied" by a strong Tipperary team last weekend, but felt his side won the physical battle against the Tribesmen in windy conditions at Parnell Park.
"We were focused on getting that intensity and physicality up - in the second half they had little option but to hit long balls [because of the swirling wind] and I was happy to stand there and be under them."