Dublin powered past a lethargic Kilkenny team to capture the Allianz NHL1 league title in Croke Park on Sunday afternoon – for the first time since 1939 in front of a crowd of 42,030.
The Dubs were the superior team throughout and by half-time had built a six-point lead . Paul Ryan was outstanding in the first half scoring seven points which included four frees.
Eoin Larkin was dismissed in the 25th minute by referee Michael Wadding who also controversially blew for half-time with Dublin on the attack . Conor McCormack finished to the net only to have the goal disallowed.
Remarkably, Kilkenny only scored twice from play in this game, a statistic which may worry Brian Cody as he prepares his team for the Leinster Championship.
Dublin, on the other hand will be delighted with the return from their forwards. Ten different players scored including spectacular scores from substitutes David Treacy, Maurice O’Brien and Simon Lambert.
The only negative from a Dublin viewpoint would be a shoulder injury to Joey Boland who had to leave the field in the 42nd minute . Anthony Daly will be hoping that the hunger shown today by his players can be transferred into the Leinster and All-Ireland campaigns.
SCORERS – Dublin: P Ryan 0-9 (0-5f), C Keaney 0-3, R O’Dwyer, M O’Brien 0-2 each, D O’Callaghan, D Plunkett, C McCormack, J McCaffrey, D Treacy, S Lambert 0-1 each. Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-5 (0-5f), E Brennan 1-0, P Hogan (0-1f), M Rice 0-1 each.
DUBLIN – G Maguire; N Corcoran, T Brady, P Kelly; J McCaffrey, J Boland, S Durkin; A McCrabbe, L Rushe; C McCormack, R O’Dwyer, C Keaney; D Plunkett, D O’Callaghan, P Ryan. Subs: M O’Brien for Boland (44), D O’Dwyer for Plunkett (55), D Treacy for McCrabbe (63), S Lambert for Rushe (67), S Ryan for O’Callaghan (72).
KILKENNY – D Herity; J Dalton, B Hogan, N Hickey; P Hogan, J Tyrrell, JJ Delaney; TJ Reid, M Rice; J Fitzpatrick, M Ruth, E Larkin; C Fennelly, E Brennan, R Hogan. Subs: M Kavanagh for JJ Delaney (56), J Mulhall for Fennelly (58), P Murphy for Ruth (65).
REF – M Wadding (Waterford).