DUBLIN 1-17 KILKENNY 3-11
An excellent injury-time point from Paul Ryan earned Dublin a deserved share of the spoils in Saturday evening’s Allianz NHL Division 1 clash at Croke Park.
While it was the Dubs who forced the draw it was a game, much like Galway a week previous, that they could, nay should, have won. Anthony Daly’s charges pucked 17 wides (Kilkenny 11) as well as not taking several goal-scoring opportunities, particularly in the early stages of the opening half in a match that was played for the most part in horrendous condtions.
Dublin settled well and carried the fight to the vaunted opponents from the first whistle and led 0-5 to 0-2 approaching the 20-minute mark – it should have been a stronger lead but goalmouth chances which fell to Paul Ryan and David O’Callaghan were not converted.
The Cats while playing second fiddle during this period still showed their clincial edge when needed as goals from Matt Ruth, in the 20th minute, and Eddie Brennan in the last few seconds of the opening half left Dublin leading 1-12 to 2-7 at the interval.
Kilkenny began to gain an upperhand as the second half progressed and Ruth’s second goal 12 minutes from time moved them 3-11 to 1-14 clear. However, Dublin did not relent with three points from Paul Ryan (including a ‘65’ and a free) saw Dublin earn a league point and keep their hopes in the balance of reaching a first NHL Division 1 final since 1946.
SCORERS – Dublin: P Ryan 1-5 (0-1 ‘65’, 0-1f), C Keaney 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 ‘65’), L Rushe, R O’Dwyer 0-2 each, D Plunkett, J McCaffrey, S Durkin 0-1 each. Kilkenny: M Ruth 2-1, R Hogan 0-5 (0-3f), E Brenan 1-2, M Fennelly 0-2, A Fogarty 0-1.
DUBLIN – G Maguire, N Corcoran, P Kelly, O Gough; R Walsh, T Brady, S Durkin; J McCaffrey, S Lambert; C Keaney, R O’Dwyer, L Rushe; D Plunkett, D O’Callaghan, P Ryan. Subs: S Ryan for Lambert (48), P Schutte for Gough (58), P Carton for Plunkett (66).
KILKENNY – D Herity; M Kavanagh, N Hickey, J Dalton; P Hogan, B Hogan, C Fogarty; P Murphy, E Larkin; R Hogan, M Fennelly, C Fennelly; M Ruth, E Brennan, A Fogarty. Subs: TJ Reid for Murphy (42), J Mulhall for a Fogarty (52), PJ Delaney for C Fogarty (55).
REF – B Kelly (Westmeath).