DUBLIN 0-18 KILKENNY 1-20
A dominant last quarter by Kilkenny saw them emerge five-point victors in Saturday afternoon’s Allianz HL Division 1B opener at Parnell Park.
The sides were level, 0-16 each, entering the second-half water break after the Dubs had hit four unanswered points – two Donal Burke frees, an excellent point on the run from Danny Sutcliffe and the fourth from sub Cian Boland, a fine effort under pressure.
However, following the water stoppage the Cats forged ahead and took control.
Kilkenny wing-forward Martin Keoghan struck over to punish a misplaced clearance from Dublin that went straight to Pádraig Walsh and then in the 59th minute the Tullaroan clubman engineered a goal to put his side 1-17 to 0-16 clear.
From a Dublin perspective it was a poor goal to concede as they looked to have the situation under control but Keoghan worked his way along the endline before angling into space and finishing past Seán Brennan from close range.
It went from bad to worse for Dublin three minutes later when Liam Rushe was dismissed on a second yellow card. Rushe had been playing very well at the heart of the Dublin defence and in his absence Kilkenny tagged on three further points to ease to victory.
During the last quarter Kilkenny hit 1-4 with Dublin scoring just 0-2 – both frees late on from sub David Treacy.
Up to that point it was a very evenly contested duel with Kilkenny scoring the last three points of the opening half to lead 0-11 to 0-9 at the half-time interval.
Dublin’s defence was doing well as a unit while the forwards were working hard against a robust Kilkenny defence.
Goal-scoring opportunities were very limited with Dublin keeper Brennan doing well to smother an effort from Keoghan in the eighth minute – with TJ Reid converting the resulting ’65’.
In the 29th minute Ronan Hayes raced goalward but his shot from a difficult angle was parried out for a ’65’ by Eoin Murphy.
Dublin struck some good long-range scores with Daire Gray’s from halfway in the 24th minute and Danny Sutcliffe’s less than three minutes later after being picked out by keeper Brennan with a puckout were among the first-half highlights.
Andrew Dunphy, who started at corner-back in place of Cian O’Callaghan, also marked his fine display with an impressive long-range point in the fifth minute after combining with Danny Sutcliffe.
By the 14th minute of the second half Kilkenny had moved 0-16 to 0-12 clear but Dublin lifted their game and those Burke frees (two) and classy scores from Sutcliffe and Boland brought Dublin level.
After the water-break Dublin could not maintain that forward momentum and missed some chances, including frees, as Kilkenny made their winning move.
Dublin face Laois in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise next Saturday (5.0) in their next game of their league campaign.
SCORERS – Kilkenny: M Keoghan 1-4, TJ Reid 0-7 (0-6f, 0-1 ’65’), J Bergin, P Walsh, J Donnelly 0-2, D Corcoran, C Buckley, A Murphy 0-1. Dublin: D Burke 0-7 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65’), C Crummey, D Sutcliffe, D Treacy (0-2f) 0-2 each, A Dunphy, D Gray, E Dillon, D Keogh, C Boland 0-1 each.
KILKENNY: E Murphy; C Wallace, H Lawlor, P Deegan; D Corcoran, P Walsh, C Browne; C Buckley, R Leahy; J Donnelly, A Mullen, M Keoghan; J Bergin, TJ Reid, E Cody. Subs: R Reid for Leahy (12), J Maher for Mullen (ht), M Carey for Buckley (53), A Murphy for Bergin (59).
DUBLIN: S Brennan; A Dunphy, E O’Donnell, P Smyth; S Moran, L Rushe, D Gray; C Burke, J Madden; D Sutcliffe, C Crummey, R Hayes; D Burke, E Dillon, D Keogh. Subs: R McBride for Moran (42), C Boland for Keogh (45), C O’Sullivan for D Burke (60), J Malone for C Burke (63). P O’Dea for Maddden (70), D Treacy for Hayes (71), O O’Rorke for Dillon (73).
REF: J Keenan (Wicklow).