Reid denies Dublin as Kilkenny scrape draw
Dublin come within a whisker of beating Kilkenny in championship for first time since 1942 but Reid earns draw for All-Ireland champions
Kilkenny’s Walter Walsh and Ryan O’Dwyer of Dublin get in a tangle. Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Kilkenny 1-14 Dublin 0-17: Almost a result to shock the championship into life before June is spent. Almost.
Dublin and Kilkenny will have to go at it all over again in Portlaoise next Saturday at 7pm.
Blame TJ Reid for ruining Dublin’s great leap.
The All-Ireland champions will never be this poor again. That’s the killer for Anthony Daly’s men tonight. Reid came on and salvaged a draw for Brian Cody’s side at the death.
Look but don’t touch seemed a fair pre-match assessment, but there was whispers that Dublin had steeled themselves to trouble Kilkenny.
They should have won. At least they get to go again.
The travelling Dublin fans in the 9,674 attendance grew in confidence watching Michael Fennelly and Henry Shefflin, draped in black tracksuits and runners, having a puck about on the field beforehand while their injyury-free teammates warmed up proper for the match.
The two assassins took their seats in the stand.
Dublin were ready for anything. Even the replacement of their reliable free taker Paul Ryan after just 18 minutes. Joey Boland stepped into the breach registering 0-5, including four frees, as Dublin held parity, 0-8 apiece, at the turn.
That was an impressive feat considering the threat of Richie Hogan and the physicality of Walter Walsh. The big man who shone so brightly last September swatted Niall Corcoran aside, no easy task, like a rag doll for one of three early scores.
When Walsh, Hogan and Eoin Larkin put a few more scores on the board in quick succession 10 minutes before half-time the expected result seemed so inevitable.
But Dublin clung on. David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan arriving off the bench like an annoying wasp to add to Boland’s accuracy from the placed ball.
What looked a bad injury to Kilkenny corner back Paul Murphy also took the fizz out of the opening stanza (the St John’s Ambulance crews missed a trick here, arriving too late as a makeshift stretcher took the wounded soldier from the battlefield. In fairness, they are volunteers).
Larkin was oddly off kilter, miscuing two frees well within his range.
The healthy Dublin following began to dream when Paul Schutte and Boland clipped over points soon after the break, but there’s always a Kilkenny man who steps up to the plate in the championship. When there are four or five it tends to be a rout.
Today it was Walter Walsh. His goal in the 43rd minute should’ve broken Dublin’s back. The Codyites who had slipped across the border unnoticed let out an almighty roar.