Dublin hold out for win against 13-man Kilkenny
Defending champions in the game until the final whistle despite red cards for Jonjo Farrell and Joe Lyng
Dublin’s Conal Keaney and Kilkenny’s Matthew Ruth in action during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A match at Nowlan Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Dublin 0-25 Kilkenny 3-11
What might be described as a lively afternoon at Nowlan Park ended with Dublin, who had led at one stage by 14 points, hanging on to win by five. Kilkenny, reduced to 13 men for the last quarter of an hour, tore away at the deficit but just weren’t able to retrieve it despite two late goals that began to ring Dublin’s alarm bells.
Some excellent point taking by Dublin and David Treacy in particular, with 11 points from play and dead balls, set up the win that leaves Ger Cunningham’s side in the highly satisfactory position of being two from two against after opening matches against both of last year’s All-Ireland finalists.
The winners harnessed a strong wind in the first half to hit the holders with a barrage of points. Treacy was to the fore, ending the first half with nine points, perfectly apportioned between shots from play, frees and 65s.
Having surged 0-7 to 0-1 clear by the 12th minute, Dublin were however stalled by a mini-revival and in the next five minutes Kilkenny pulled back 1-1, the point coming first from a Richie Hogan free.
Hogan, twisting, turning and unleashing his shot, and Colm Cronin swapped points and when Pádraig Walsh squeezed over a point from the left wing in the 24th minute the gap was down to one, 1-4 to 0-8.
The tipping point when it came was controversial. Referee Colm Lyons responded emphatically to a fracas, red carding Jonjo Farrell although television pictures suggested it was a harsh call.
A man up, Dublin finished strongly to out-score Kilkenny 0-7 to 0-1 to lead 0-15 to 1-5 at the break.
Comfortably set up in the second half with the extra defender, Dublin effectively killed the game in the third quarter, repeating the pre-interval scoring run of 0-7 to 0-1 despite the wind and with Mark Schutte, Eamonn Dillon and Danny Sutcliffe prominent even if Liam Rushe again suffered frustration at full forward in the company of Paul Murphy.
By this stage Kilkenny had lost replacement Joe Lyng to another – less contentious – red card and at 0-24 to 1-7, a serious hiding looked on the cards for the under-strength All-Ireland champions.
The genetic coding kicked in however and with Hogan trying to kick-start a revival and goaling a 20-metre free just before the hour there was a serious run on Dublin. They lost the final quarter 0-1 to 2-4 with Matthew Ruth adding another goal in the 66th minute.
It was still too much of a gap but for those five minutes with the home supporters in the crowd of 7,152 baying for the impossible you could tell Dublin were worried but they held out.
A third player was red carded when Sutcliffe received a second yellow in the last minute.
DUBLIN: A Nolan; C O’Callaghan, M Carton, P Schutte; C Crummey, P Kelly (0-2), C Keaney; S Durkin (0-1), S Lambert; C Cronin (0-1), E Dillon (0-3), D Sutcliffe (0-4); D Treacy (0-11, four frees, three 65s), L Rushe, M Schutte (0-3).
Subs: C Boland for Cronin (53 mins)
KILKENNY: E Murphy; T Keogh, P Murphy, J Tyrrell; B Kennedy, K Joyce, C Buckley; G Brennan, L Ryan; P Walsh (0-1), W Walsh (0-1), M Ruth (2-0); M Kelly (0-1), J Farrell (0-1), R Hogan (capt; 1-7, goal and four points frees, one 65).
Subs: J Power for Brennan (43 mins), J Lyng for Kennedy (43 mins)
Referee: C Lyons (Cork)