Daly delight as eager Dubs keep the ball rolling
“I’M delighted with the win. We got a good beating here last year and the relegation end of things has been put to bed at least,” enthused Dublin manager Anthony Daly after his charges defeated 14-man Offaly in O’Connor Park, Tullamore yesterday and preserved their impressive unbeaten start to the Allianz Hurling League.
For the second consecutive outing Offaly had a player dismissed and things got progressively worse for Joe Dooley’s injury stricken side after Brian Mulrooney was shown a straight red card in the 22nd minute.
Frustrated Dooley said: “The sending off had a big bearing. Young Mulrooney is only 19, it is his first year in with us and I don’t think he was ever sent off in his life. It ruined the game as a contest.”
On four occasions during a competitive and lively opening, visitors Dublin built up a two-point cushion and plucky Offaly, minus the injured Paul Cleary, James Rigney, David Kenny, Joe Brady and Derek Molloy, reeled them back and were level by the 14th minute, 0-5 apiece.
Shane Dooley spurned the opportunity to fire Offaly ahead from an acutely angled free and the home side were ruthlessly dismantled for the remainder of the opening half, with purposeful Dublin racking up 2-7 without reply and at the interval they’d twelve points to spare, 2-12 to 0-6, and it was contest over.
Yet again dead ball striking proved problematic for the ‘Faithful’ with Dooley and Joe Bergin missing chances before Brian Carroll enjoyed better success after he took over the responsibility.
Dublin ‘won’ the concluding thirty-five minutes by 0-11 to 1-7 but there was precious little to maintain spectators interest. Conal Keaney took up where he left off against Tipperary in the previous round and he arrowed over nine points, seven from frees, including one from almost 80 metres in the first half while former Tipp player Ryan Dwyer ran riot at full forward, racking up 2-2.
Dwyer’s first goal arrived in the 19th minute after excellent approach play from Shane Durkan and Keaney. In the 32nd minute Keaney caught the Offaly rearguard cold when he rifled in a 25m free that custodian James Dempsey saved under his crossbar and Dwyer applied a deft finish from the rebound.
Dublin led 2-16 to 0-7 when Offaly fans were given something to cheer in the 48th minute. A nice inter-change of passes between Bergin, Dylan Hayden and sub Michael Cordial was polished off by Shane Dooley cleverly flicking the sliotar beyond Dubs ‘keeper Gary Maguire.
Daire Plunkett, John McCaffrey and three Dublin subs Conor Clinton, Paul Ryan and Shane Ryan, all got in on the scoring act as they eased past the finishing post. Offaly were awarded a 64th minute penalty, an incident that saw Peter Kelly yellow carded for a reckless challenge under the dropping ball with Dooley who was forced to depart the fray injured. And Bergin’s strike was instinctively stopped by Maguire.
Scorers for Offaly: S Dooley (1-3, 0-2 frees), B Carroll (0-5, 0-3 frees), J Bergin (0-1), J Mulrooney (0-1), C Mahon (0-1), D Hayden (0-1), O Kealey (0-1).
Scorers for Dublin: C Keaney (0-9, 0-7 frees), R Dwyer (2-2), D Plunkett (0-3), J McCaffrey (0-2), C Clinton (0-2), C McCormack (0-1), P Carton (0-1), P Schutte (0-1), P Ryan (0-1), S Ryan (0-1).
Subs for Offaly: D Currams for Hayden (blood, 30 — 35), Currams for Parlon (41), M Cordial for J Mulrooney (44), S Wynne for Healion (48), O Kealey for Dooley inj (64).
Subs for Dublin: P Ryan for Dwyer (50), S Ryan for L Ryan (50), C Clinton for McCormack (57), S Hiney for Schutte inj (60), O Gough for S Durkan (68).
Referee: Alan Kelly, Galway.
Alan Walsh, Irish Examiner