Dublin 1-22 Kilkenny 3-13
Colm Cronin, Dublin, in action against Brian Hogan, Kilkenny
JOHN FALLON – PUBLISHED 17 MARCH 2014 02:30 AM
There have been too many false dawns for Dublin to be getting too excited after this victory, but the manner with which they met the Kilkenny fightback after half-time, when an interval lead of 10 points was whittled down to three, will give Anthony Daly some cause for optimism.
More importantly, the two points gives them hope of staying in the top flight on an evening at Parnell Park when both camps were reluctant to place too much stock on the outcome.
Dublin will be the first to realise that the loose marking and time on the ball they enjoyed around the middle of the field can’t be expected when Kilkenny get the firm sod under their feet.
Brian Cody, looking as if he has done every minute of the hard training and capable of a good half an hour if needed, said that they could have few complaints about the outcome but, while he again made a string of changes, he didn’t regard it as experimenting.
“I’m not sure experimenting is the right word. We’re looking at players. We have a panel of players in training and we’re looking at them,” he said
“We use the league first of all to try and do well and win all the matches we can win. Then, obviously, when we reach the end of the league, we’ll have looked at a good few players. So far, it has gone okay for us.
“We have a big league match next week (against Waterford) and we’d like to win that and go on to the quarter-finals.”
Dublin boss Daly (left) was also looking to next weekend – and maybe a bit beyond – when he said the most pleasing element was the way they stood tall again when Kilkenny shredded most of their hard-earned opening-half lead.
“I suppose the character that the lads showed in the second half, when it looked like the auld avalanche was coming and the goals were coming…” he said, when asked what had pleased him most.
“They worked it out and kept possession and it was tough going – there was a fair wind, too.
“Look, it gives us nothing more than a fighting chance next week and we’re delighted to have that. We have a very tough fixture away to Tipp.”
Danny Sutcliffe led the Dublin attack superbly and took Tommy Walsh all over the place in the opening half. By the end, he had posted 1-5 from play – and Walsh was withdrawn at the break.
Sutcliffe’s goal, a fortunate effort from distance three minutes before the break, helped Dublin lead by 1-16 to 1-6 at half-time, having played with the strong wind.
Dublin’s early onslaught was wiped out when a great run by Colin Fennelly was finished to the net by John Power, but the full-forward limped off with a hamstring injury before the interval.
Joey Boland picked off three good points and, by the break, Ryan O’Dwyer was the only Dublin forward not to have scored.
Dublin knew Kilkenny would respond, but they didn’t know how they themselves would react to it.
Fennelly started the revival with a fine goal and then TJ Reid blasted a penalty to the roof of the net after Jonjo Farrell was fouled by Jack Doughan. Farrell then pointed and suddenly the lead had been cut to three, 1-16 to 3-7.
“Kilkenny are always going to get goals,” said Conal Keaney. “And it was probably a good time for them to get them – for us – because we had plenty of time to come back and get back into the game. I think we won a few puck-outs straight after that.
“Those days are gone when we drop the heads. I think you saw in Kilkenny against Tipperary, they were 10 points down as well and they came back.”
Dublin more or less matched Kilkenny point for point, with Cody’s men never getting inside three points. Scores from Alan McCrabbe, O’Dwyer and Mark Schutte put six between them, before a point from Richie Power and two from Padraig Walsh threw up the prospect of a late equalising goal.
However, that never looked like happening at the end of an entertaining contest.
SCORERS – Dublin: D Sutcliffe 1-5, A McCrabbe 0-6 (3fs, 1 ’65’, 1 s-c), C Keaney (1f), J Boland 0-3 each, C Cronin, D O’Callaghan, J McCaffrey, M Schutte, R O’Dwyer 0-1 each. Kilkenny: J Power 1-1, C Fennelly, TJ Reid (pen) 1-0 each, E Larkin 0-4 (3sf, 1 ’65’), P Walsh 0-2, W Walsh, A Fogarty, JJ Farrell, C Buckley, R Hogan (f), R Power 0-1 each.
Dublin – G Maguire 6; N Corcoran 5, P Kelly 7, C O’Callaghan 6; S Durkin 6, L Rushe 6, M Carton 6; J Boland 8, J McCaffrey 7; R O’Dwyer 6, A McCrabbe 7, D Sutcliffe 9; D O’Callghan 6, C Keaney 7, C Cronin 6. Subs: J Doughan 6 for Corcoran (40), M Schutte 7 for McCaffrey (55), N McMorrow 7 for Cronin (64), S McGrath 6 for D O’Callaghan (68).
Kilkenny – D Herity 6; P Murphy 6, B Hogan 7, T Keogh 7; T Walsh 5, L Ryan 6, J Holden 7; R Hogan 6, C Buckley 6; W Walsh 7, C Fennelly 7, E Larkin 5; JJ Farrell 7, J Power 7, A Fogarty 6. Subs: TJ Reid 7 for Power (34), P Walsh 7 for T Walsh (35), H Shefflin 6 for Fogarty (43), B Kennedy 6 for Ryan (60), R Power 7 for W Walsh (63).
Ref – J Sexton (Cork).