DUBLIN 1-16 KILKENNY 2-20
Dublin must face Clare in a relegation play-off (venue tbc) after losing to Kilkenny in Sunday’s NHL Division 1A encounter at Parnell Park.
The Dubs played for 40 minutes with 14 men after keeper Gary Maguire was sent off (straight red card) in the 31st minute for a foul on Liam Blanchfield as he fired to the net.
It was a real turning point in the game as the Dubs had contested very well and led 0-9 to 1-3 after 30 minutes.
Sub keeper Conor Dooley had to be introduced forcing the substitution of Eoghan Conroy as the Cats progressed to hold a 2-5 to 0-10 lead at the interval.
Kilkenny’s opening goal arrived in the seventh minute when the influential Conor Martin was in the right spot to finish to the net past Maguire following terrific build-up play by Colin Fennelly.
Dublin had been backed by the wind in the opening half and carried the battle to the Cats.
Donal Burke, a year out of the minor grade, showed several glimpses of his class with one superb first half fetch and long-range angled free as well as a stylish point from play from a difficult angle.
Kilkenny with the advantage of the wind and the extra man restarted the better with points from Liam Blanchfield and Colin Fennelly.
However, Dublin responded brilliantly with a Donal Burke goal after Ryan O’Dwyer’s initial effort was parried by keeper Eoin Murphy to bring the sides level.
It was nip and tuck for the following ten minutes before Brian Cody’s men began to put distance between the counties on the scoreboard.
Two excellent points from Chris Crummey and Ben Quinn had the Dubs trailing by the minimum, 1-14 to 2-12, with 20 minutes remaining.
But Kilkenny then hit a flurry of points with TJ Reid and Conor Martin to the fore to help their side eventually ease to victory.
Dublin had one late goal sighting by Rian McBride’s well struck effort was matched by the athleticism of Murphy in goals to deny the St Vincent’s clubman.
SCORERS – Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-10 (0-6f), C Martin 1-5, L Blanchfield 1-2, C Fogarty, W Walsh, R Hogan 0-1 each. Dublin: D Burke 1-9 (0-7), C Crummey 0-3, B Quinn, R O’Dwyer, C Boland, N McMorrow 0-1 each.
KILKENNY: E Murphy; P Murphy, P Walsh, C O’Shea; C Fogarty, J Cleere, S Prendergast; P Deegan, C Buckley; C Fennelly, W Walsh, TJ Reid; L Blanchfield, R Hogan, C Martin. Subs: J Holden for P Walsh (ht), P Lyng for Hogan (52), K Joyce for O’Shea (61).
DUBLIN: G Maguire; F O’Riain Broinn, E O’Donnell, S Barrett; C Crummey, L Rushe, C MacGabhann; B Quinn, D Fox; E Conroy, N McMorrow, R O’Dwyer; C Boland, D Burke, E Dillon. Subs: C Dooley for Conroy (31), R McBride for MacGabhann (52), C O’Sullivan for Boland (58), F Whiteley for Fox (65).
REF: P O’Dwyer (Carlow).