On This Day: Dubs crowned NHL1 champions for first time in 72 years
May 01, 2020
On this day, Dublin were crowned National Hurling League Division 1 champions for the first time in 72 years – beating Kilkenny by twelve-points in the final at Croke Park.
The date was May 01, 2011
The score? Dublin 0-22 Kilkenny 1-7
May 01, 2011
NHL1 final: dream day for Dubs
Dublin hammered 14-man Kilkenny in the 2011 Division One final at Croke Park (0-22 to 1-7).
The twelve-point winners were superb throughout and have laid down a real marker for the championship season. Anthony Daly’s team will be a threat to everybody in the main competition this year but for now they can enjoy their first league title since 1939.
The new kids on the block dominated the first half and deservedly led by 0-11 to 1-2 at the break, with Paul Ryan clipping over seven first-half points. Kilkenny had failed to score between the tenth and 32nd minutes and also had Eoin Larkin sent off with a straight red card on 25.
It was sunny in Dublin 3 but a stiff breeze was also sweeping across the Jones Road pitch as the two teams completed the pre-match parade. Conor McCormack had an early wide for the Dubs after Paul Ryan had dropped a free short but Man of the Match Ryan O’Dwyer arrowed the underdogs into a third-minute lead with an excellent point from under the Hogan Stand, out near the right sideline, attacking the old Canal End.
TJ Reid had the Cats’ first shot in anger but missed the target. Ryan doubled the Sky Blues’ lead with an excellent point from distance in the sixth minute, but Reid replied instantly from a free, which he drilled low and hard over the bar from way out the field.
When Niall Corcoran and Tomas Brady failed to clear their lines, Kilkenny earned a 65, which Reid spurned. In the tenth minute, the Dublin defence was again caught out when Richie Hogan caught a long delivery on the end line (had it gone out?) and sent the sliothar across to Eddie Brennan, who found the net with ease: 1-1 to 0-2. Shane Durkin replied with a wide.
On twelve minutes, David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan got out in front of Brian Hogan, gathered possession and spun to clip the ball over the bar for Dublin’s third point. Anthony Daly’s charges refused to let the concession of that soft goal get to them and they kept plugging away, drawing level through Ryan with a point from play.
The No.15 quickly added a pointed free after Liam Rushe was fouled and followed up within 60 seconds with an excellent point from play: 0-6 to 1-1 after 17 minutes and superb stuff from Ryan. Matthew Ruth and Reid (free) were guilty of poor Kilkenny wides, much to Brian Cody’s obvious ire.
Dublin were giving the fervent home support plenty to shout about, notching points from all sorts of angles, and it was Daire Plunkett who floated over the next amazing score from an impossible-looking position on the sideline before placing Ryan for his fifth score of the day.
The Dubs were defending superbly and competing for every ball. When Alan McCrabbe won a free after some wonderful tackling, Ryan knocked it over the bar with aplomb to make it 0-9 to 1-1 after 23 minutes. Incredible stuff! Conal Keaney made it a six-point game as he fired over Dublin’s eighth successive point (eight points in 13 minutes!).
The Noresiders were rattled and it got even worse when former Hurler of the Year Larkin received a straight red card on 25 minutes for pulling across Conor McCormack. Down to 14 men and trailing to a focussed Dublin side by six points, the Leinster champions were already in big trouble.
True to form, Kilkenny got the first score after the sending-off. They had gone 22 minutes without raising a flag but Michael Rice brought that embarrassing drought to an end when he knocked one over from way out the field. Brennan (free) and Keaney traded wides as the margin stayed at five.
If anything, the red card seemed to have temporarily unsettled the Dubs and Durkin delivered their next wide while McCormack was also off target from long distance in first-half injury time. A foul on O’Dwyer presented Ryan with an ideal opportunity to extend the gap and the trusty No.15 made no mistake from in front of the posts in the second minute of first-half injury time.
It all went off just before the break when McCormack stole possession and raced clear to plant the ball past David Herity into the bottom corner of the net. But the whistle had sounded a second earlier and the ‘goal’ was ruled out. McCormack ended up in a heap on the deck after being disgracefully struck in the stomach and kicked as he lay on the ground by John Dalton and a melee broke out involving a number of players from both sides. Chaos and confusion reigned as the teams left the pitch for the break, with Dublin deservedly ahead by six.
All credit to Dublin for their first-half display but shame on Kilkenny for some pretty nasty stuff…
Michael Rice and JJ Delaney both dropped shots short into Gary Maguire’s hands in the first minute of the second half and Paddy Hogan sent a long-distance free wide. Reid registered the first point of the half from a straightforward free but Ruth sent a low shot wide.
The Dublin defence was playing heroically and they showed some nice touches further up the field too when O’Callaghan showed tremendous strength to pick out McCormack for a lovely point into Hill 16, making it double scores: 0-12 to 1-3 and 42 minutes played.
There was a lengthy delay as a prostrate Joey Boland received treatment on the pitch for an arm injury. After the restart, Boland’s replacement Maurice O’Brien improvised well to tip over a 13th Dublin score. That left seven in it going into the final quarter and the next two points were exchanged by Reid (free) and O’Dwyer. Double scores again: 0-14 to 1-4 with 15 minutes left.
Kilkenny lost JJ Delaney to injury and Reid pegged back another point from a free. As he has done so many times in the past, Conal Keaney sent a magnificent score into The Hill. On this occasion, he was set up by the hard-working Liam Rushe.
Again, Kilkenny’s response was a Reid free. With an hour played, Reid had got 0-5 of his side’s paltry 1-6 tally. Reid’s next free – in the 61st minute – was pulled well wide and it was starting to look more and more like a humiliating evening for the Black & Amber…
Ryan made amends for an earlier miss when he dinked over a free eight minutes from time and Paddy Hogan floated over a Kilkenny free three minutes from the end of normal time. But there would be six added minutes.
John McCaffrey added to the winners’ tally with a great point in the final minute of normal time and substitute David Treacy popped over an 18th point for the impressive winners in the third added minute before Keaney struck over one of the best points of the league seconds later.
Another sub, Simon Lambert, was on hand to make it double scores in the fourth added minute: 0-20 to 1-7. Magnificent Dublin tagged on two late points through Paul Ryan and O’Brien to complete a devastating win and Croke Park broke out in song as captain John McCaffrey and the injured Stephen Hiney collected the silverware.
The winners had hit six unanswered scores from the 70th minute onwards. On the day, ten different Dublin players scored while TJ Reid was the only Kilkenny man to get on the scoresheet more than once.
Dublin: Gary Maguire; Niall Corcoran, Tomas Brady, Peter Kelly; John McCaffrey (0-1), Joey Boland, Shane Durkin; Alan McCrabbe, Liam Rushe; Conal Keaney (0-3), Ryan O’Dwyer (0-2), Conor McCormack (0-1); Daire Plunkett (0-1), David O’Callaghan (0-1), Paul Ryan (0-9). Subs: Maurice O’Brien (0-2), Declan O’Dwyer, David Treacy (0-1), Simon Lambert (0-1), Shane Ryan.
Kilkenny: David Herity; John Dalton, Barry Hogan, Noel Hickey; Paddy Hogan (0-1), Jackie Tyrrell, JJ Delaney; TJ Reid (0-5), Michael Rice (0-1); James Fitzpatrick, Matthew Ruth, Eoin Larkin; Colin Fennelly, Eddie Brennan (1-0), Richie Hogan. Subs: Michael Kavanagh, John Mulhall, Conor Fogarty.