Tipperary make typically slow start against Dublin

Tipp All Stars soundly beaten as bookies favourites all lose opening top flight Allianz League games

Dublin’s Danny Suttcliffe evades  Kieran Bergin of Tipperary during the Dubs Allianz League win. (Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer)

Dublin’s Danny Suttcliffe evades Kieran Bergin of Tipperary during the Dubs Allianz League win. (Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer)

 

Unpredictable as ever, unvarnished as you like, the Allianz Hurling League coughed back into action over the weekend with the bookies’ favourites going down in each of the three top-flight games. After Kilkenny showed that there’s no such thing as transition year in Brian Cody’s book on Saturday night, Tipp fell to a feckless defeat to Dublin yesterday and Galway squeezed through a tight one at home to Clare. You’d have accepted all arguments to the contrary beforehand,

At Parnell Park, Tipperary’s unfortunate habit of taking their time to find their sea legs each spring repeated itself. They went to the capital toting a team packed with All Stars but sloped home with their hides tanned for them. Ger Cunningham’s Dublin side gave their new manager an emphatic 2-20 to 0-14 victory to savour. Eamon O’Shea went back down the road scratching his head. Goals from the Eamonn Dillon and the repositioned Liam Rushe padded out the Dublin total but in truth they were superior all over the pitch.

Floundered

This made it four leagues out of five now where they’ve lost their first game of the year by at least seven points.

“I don’t think we did anything today that caused that performance,” said a bemused O’Shea. “I think we were just second to the ball and the opposition were hungrier to win the ball. The good thing is that there’s a match next Sunday and we have to go out and do something different.”

Second Captains

For Cunningham, a more pleasing beginning to the year could scarce have been imagined. Each of the switches he’s instated since taking over before Christmas paid some sort of dividend. “It’s a great start to the season,” said the Dublin boss. “It gives us a big base to build on. But the ultimate challenge comes next week going down to Nowlan Park.”

Elsewhere, Galway finished just on the right side of the knife-edge in a thriller against Clare at Pearse Stadium. Jason Flynn nailed a free in injury time to give Anthony Cunningham’s side a 2-15 to 1-17 victory.

Some Clare officials had objected to what seemed to be a dry ball being thrown in for the decisive free but the Galway manager played down any tension with his Clare counterpart Davy Fitzgerald.

No comment

Fitzgerald did not speak to the media afterwards but selector Michael Browne made no issue of the ball being changed

“Sure if that was us we would have been trying to do the same thing, so let’s call a spade a spade,” said Browne.

In Division 1B, Wexford held out for a nerve-shredding 1-24 to 2-20 win at home to a spirited Antrim side.

And in the All-Ireland club football championship, Derry champions Slaughtneil had a point to spare over Austin Stacks, winning 1-14 to 2-10 at Portlaoise. They’ll meet Galway champions Corofin in the final on St Patrick’s Day.

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