Allianz NHL Division 1 – Dublin 1-21 Tipperary 1-12

Dublin keep revolution on track

By TOM HUMPHRIES at Parnell Park for the Irish Times newspaper

Dublin 1-21 Tipperary 1-12: SO PICTURE this. Dublin returned to Parnell Park yesterday with their banners lowered and their morale tattered and their ambitions whittled. A bad thumping seven days previously had exposed them. And yesterday they faced Tipp, a team well equipped to do more than expose Dublin. Another whupping might have ended the revolution.

There are a few minutes left. Dublin have 21 scores on the board. One goal and 20 points. Fine picking. Peter Kelly, a young Lucan lad of immense but hitherto unconsummated promise, bends himself in the air and catches a Tipperary puc-out. He puts the ball on his stick and sets off.

You’ve seen this before of course. Dublin players who can solo until they run smack into a big culchie defender and spill the ball while the Parnell Park crowd bays, “ah jaysus, ref”. Peter Kelly keeps going though and crowns a fine performance with a point scored straight off his stick. One of those scores that players take when they are filled with self belief.

One of those scores that teams rack up when they are putting the opposition away.

As such, yesterday in Parnell Park was a slightly surreal exercise and an injunction about reading too much into anything that happens before the evenings grow long and the sod gets dry.

Tipperary, due to push on to a position where they would be neck and neck at least with the aristocrats of Kilkenny, came for a handy brace of points. Dublin, severely embarrassed pretenders a week previously, came to keep the score down. In the end, Dublin pulled a good win out and left Parnell Park having gained more confidence than Tipp lost.

And afterwards Liam Sheedy stood outside the dressingroom precinct and looked tired and chastened. “Dublin won every line. They were deserving winners. No complaints. No excuses. Dublin wanted it more.” That was pretty much it in a nutshell.

Dublin conceded a penalty in the first minute and saw Eoin Kelly cash it in without remorse.

Anthony Daly described the journey home from Waterford last weekend as soul destroying and the subsequent gathering for training on Tuesday as a clearing of the decks. Tipp, taking a chunky lead so early certainly brought back vivid memories to Dublin, who stepped up the intensity rattling off six points without reply.

Alan McCrabbe, the lazarus of Dublin hurling, was instrumental. Dotsie O’Callaghan’s return made a difference to the life force of the full-forward line and Liam Rushe’s growth as a player continued to be evident.

What Dublin have needed for so long (and what made the departure of Ross O’ Carroll feel so disastrous) has been a half-forward line which could win ball. Rushe’s catching has become a mainstay of Dublin’s style but on either side of him yesterday Peter Kelly and Shane Durkin contributed hugely to the ransacking of Tipp’s half-back line.

Elsewhere the news was all good too. Whereas a week previously Dublin were repeatedly horsed off the ball by Waterford players, yesterday they contested and generally won the dirty ball for 70 minutes. The Dublin forwards gave a lesson in how to harass and harry when you don’t have the ball.

For Tipp, this fixture would have been one which they ringmarked as likely to yield two points. The loss won’t reflect any problem greater than ring rust and perhaps a little complacency. They took the field without Shane McGrath at midfield, an apparent injury victim but were otherwise strong looking.

The forward lines repeatedly got smothered, however, and it will be interesting to see how often in the rest of the year the corner forward pairing of Lar Corbett and Noel McGrath are limited to a point apiece.

Dublin led by five points at the break having seen Tipp enjoy their best period with a string of points coming up to the half hour mark to go one clear again. Dublin got a goal just when they needed it. Johnny McCaffrey, enjoying his best game in some time, dropped a point attempt a little short. Dotsie O’Callaghan pressured Darren Gleeson in the Tipp goal and the ball sneaked into the net, O’Callaghan apparently getting the last touch.

And that was the key score. McCrabbe added a couple of frees before the break and Shane Durkin, increasingly impressive, did likewise from play.

After the break Dublin became increasingly dominant with Rushe and Kelly stepping up their input and Stephen Hiney became more influential. David Treacy, whose debut league game against Tipp last year provided him with three goals, had left some mark on the Tipp memory and he repeatedly drew fouls which yielded frees.

It all ended as oddly as it had started with Tipp in Parnell Park looking for a goal to put a gloss on the scoreline. Eoin Kelly saw a 20-yard free saved and then hit a penalty off the crossbar.

Liam Sheedy offered praise for Dublin’s performance. Anthony Daly, aware of how the hype ratchets up in the capital, played it down and pointed out that Offaly, in Tullamore in a fortnight, is all that matters now.

Strange days indeed.

DUBLIN: G Maguire; N Corcoran, T Brady, O Gough; J Boland, S Hiney, M O’ Brien (0-1); J McCaffrey (0-1), S Lambert (0-1); P Kelly (0-2), L Rushe (0-1), S Durkin (0-2); D O Callaghan (1-1), D Treacy (0-1), A McCrabbe 0-10 (0-8f, 0-1 65, 0-1 sideline). Subs: J Kelly for S Lambert (27 mins), K Flynn (0-1) for J Kelly (55 mins), P Ryan for D O’ Callaghan (69 mins), M Carton for M O’ Brien (70 mins).

TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; C O’Brien, P Curran, B Maher; P Maher, C O’Mahony, S Maher; B Dunne (0-1), Gearóid Ryan; S Hennessy (0-1), S Callinan (0-2), H Moloney; N McGrath (0-1), E Kelly (1-5, 1-0 pen, 0-2f and a 65), L Corbett (0-1). Subs: D Fanning (0-1) for G Ryan 42 mins, M Webster for H Moloney 52 mins, P Kelly for S Hennessy 56 mins, J Brennan for S Callinan 67 mins.

Referee: James Owens (Wexford)


NHL Div 1: Dublin 1-21 Tipperary 1-12

From the RTE.ie web site

Sunday, 28 February 2010 20:04

Alan McCrabbe hit ten points as Dublin claimed the scalp of last year’s All-Ireland runners-up Tipperary at Parnell Park. McCrabbe shook off a leg injury to play his part in the Dubs’ first NHL Division 1 win, ably assisted by the likes of Peter Kelly, Niall Corcoran, Shane Durkin and Oisin Gough. Tipperary captain Eoin Kelly cracked home a first minute penalty, but the visitors were 1-12 to 1-07 behind at half-time. Tipp goalkeeper Darren Gleeson let a long delivery from John McCaffrey slip into his net and a late penalty miss from Kelly summed up his side’s day. The Premier County were sluggish and evidently rusty, following the double postponement of their league opener against Kilkenny in Thurles.

But that should not take away from what was a very accomplished performance from Dublin, who bounced straight back from last weekend’s hammering at the hands of Waterford. Manager Anthony Daly demanded much more from the Metropolitans and he got it in spades – despite a shaky start. Lar Corbett won a penalty in the opening seconds for Tipperary, after being fouled by Tomas Brady. Kelly’s powerful shot rippled the net, past goalkeeper Gary Maguire, Brady and John McCaffrey on the line. Tipp included eight players from last year’s All-Ireland final team, and four current All-Stars in Corbett, Noel McGrath, Padraic Maher and Conor O’Mahony. The Dubs were forced into a late change as centre-back Ronan Fallon made way for Joey Boland, but forward duo McCrabbe and David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan were fit to start. Dublin’s reaction to the concession of Kelly’s goal was brilliant, with O’Callaghan, McCrabbe, Liam Rushe, Maurice O’Brien and Simon Lambert helping themselves to points.

The hosts hit six on the bounce to lead by 0-06 to 1-00 by the 12th minute, with young centre-forward Rushe’s over-the-shoulder effort the highlight. Rushe typified Dublin’s sharpness and hunger to get on the ball, find space and create scores. With McCrabbe accurate from frees, they built a five-point lead for half-time. Kelly, Seamus Hennessy and McGrath had picked off points as Tipp fought back to lead by 1-06 to 0-08, seven minutes before the break. However, the next score fell to Dublin and it was a goal, McCaffrey’s high ball dropping in on top of Tipp goalkeeper Gleeson who, under a considerable amount of pressure from O’Callaghan, fumbled the sliotar over the line. Some excellent scores from McCrabbe and Durkin added to the Dubs’ buffer and the evasive David Treacy opened the scoring in the second half. Eoin Kelly and McCrabbe swapped a succession of frees, but Peter Kelly, McCaffrey, Durkin and Kevin Flynn helped Daly’s men stretch into a comfortable lead. Tipp skipper Kelly, who scored 1-05 in all, had an injury-time chance of a goal but his stinging effort was knocked onto the bar and cleared as Dublin collected two valuable league points.

Team News

Tipperary will field an experienced team against Dublin in Sunday’s Allianz GAA Hurling National League game at Parnell Park in what will be their first outing of the current League campaign after their first round game against Kilkenny was cancelled twice due to snow. Eoin Kelly captains the team from full forward with All Stars Lar Corbett and Noel McGrath filling the 2 corner forward positions.  Tipp’s other 2 All Stars, Padraic Maher and Conor O’Mahony are named at right half back and centre back respectively.

1. Darren Gleeson (Portroe)
2. Conor O’Brien (Eire Óg Annacarty)
3. Paul Curran (Mullinahone)
4. Brendan Maher (Borris–Ileigh)
5. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
6. Conor O’Mahony (Newport)
7. Shane Maher (Burgess)
8. Benny Dunne (Toomevara)
9. Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch)
10. Seamus Hennessy (Kilruane MacDonaghs)
11. Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch)
12. Hugh Maloney (Nenagh Éire Óg)
13. Noel McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney)
14. Eoin Kelly (Mullinahone) Captain
15. Lar Corbett (Thurles Sarsfields)

Dublin: G Maguire; N Corcoran, T Brady, O Gough; S Hiney, R Fallon, M O’Brien; J McCaffrey, S Lambert; P Kelly, L Rushe, S Durkin; D O’Callaghan, D Treacy, A McCrabbe