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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019


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Football League

Division 1 
Dublin 1-15 Galway 0-7

Division 2
Donegal 1-13 Meath 0-14

Hurling League

Division 1A
Limerick 1-21 Tipperary 1-14


Evening all and welcome along to Round 2 of the Allianz League action as the GAA season is starting to crank into gear on this first weekend in February.

We’ve got both of the All-Ireland champions on the agenda tonight so going to be plenty interest in how Dublin’s footballers fare in Croke Park against Galway and how the Limerick hurlers play in the Gaelic Grounds as Tipperary land into town.

Just the one game on the menu in Division 2 of the football league with Donegal meeting Meath in Ballybofey.

Throw-in for all three games is 7pm and we’ll be building up to them.

Time to set the scene then. Dublin unusually for them suffered an early season blip last Sunday with a loss in Clones against Monaghan, albeit they are naturally behind in their preparatory work for the 2019 season after just returning recently from a team holiday.

Galway got the job done ultimately at home to Cavan by 0-13 to 0-11 last Sunday but now face the task of a trip to Croke Park to meet a team who toppled them twice in 2018, in April’s league final and August’s All-Ireland semi-final.

Here’s the squad Dublin have named:

And here’s the side Galway have selected:

1. Magnus Breathnach

2. Eoghan Kerin
3. Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh
4. David Wynne

5. Gary O’Donnell
6. Gareth Bradshaw
7. Seán Kelly

8. Kieran Duggan
9. Thomas Flynn

10. Cillian McDaid
11. Peter Cooke
12. Johnny Heaney

13. Padraig Cunningham
14. Shane Walsh
15. Barry McHugh

To matters in the top flight in hurling, there were victories for both Limerick and Tipperary last weekend. Tipperary winning out at home on Saturday against Clare and Limerick enjoying a rewarding trip to the south-east on Sunday against Wexford.

Tipperary bring back James Barry into their starting side.


1. Brian Hogan (Lorrha-Dorrha)

2. Donagh Maher (Burgess)
3. James Barry (Upperchurch-Drombane)
4. Alan Flynn (Kiladangan)

5. Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg)
6. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
7. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

8. Robert Byrne (Portroe)
9. Michael Breen (Ballina)

10. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh)
11. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
12. Willie Connors (Kiladangan)

13. Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg)
14. Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch)
15. Patrick Maher (Lorrha-Dorrha)

For Limerick there are starting spots handed to Darragh O’Donovan, Conor Boylan, Kevin Downes and Graeme Mulcahy.


1. Nickie Quaid (Effin) 

2. Tom Condon (Knockaderry)
3. Sean Finn (Bruff)
4. Richie English (Doon)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
6. Declan Hannon (Adare)
7. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)

8. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon)
9. Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen)

10. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patricks)
11. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)
12. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh)

13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell)
14. Kevin Downes (Na Piarsaigh)
15. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)

And the starting sides in Ballybofey where both teams will be pretty happy after the opening weekend, Donegal winning away to Clare and Meath emerging victorious at home to Tipperary.

All set to go in Croke Park, the Gaelic Grounds and Sean MacCumhaill Park. Few crackers hopefully in store.

Tipperary 0-1 Limerick 0-0
No messing around from Michael Breen, lashing over a point inside 10 seconds for Tipperary.

Tonight is Dublin’s first match back at Croke Park since last year’s All-Ireland triumph which clinched the four-in-a-row. Familiar territory for them.

Tipperary 0-1 Limerick 0-1
Aaron Gillane draws Limerick level, banging over a free.

Galway 0-1 Dublin 0-0
A player of real potential for Galway on target as Cillian McDaid, based in Melbourne playing Aussie Rules last year, hits over a point. His return from Carlton a major boost this season for Kevin Walsh’s side.

Donegal 0-1 Meath 0-0
Jamie Brennan gets Donegal off the mark on home soil tonight.

Tipperary 0-2 Limerick 0-2
8 mins – Seamus Callanan missed what looked a routine free for him a couple minutes ago for Tipperary but then Noel McGrath bagged a score to nudge them in front. A long-range free is despatched over by Diarmaid Byrnes to bring the teams level.

Galway 0-2 Dublin 0-0
9 mins – No shortage of possession for Galway but they needed someone to make it count and take on a shot. Peter Cooke obliged, clipping over a nice score there. At the other end Paul Mannion sees his effort for Dublin drop short and they still await a score.

Donegal 0-2 Meath 0-0
Donegal’s advantage is increased with Ciaran Thompson grabbing a point.

Looks like Dan McCormack in a bit of bother with injury for Tipperary. Jason Forde is being prepped for an introduction. McCormack holding his arm in some discomfort as he comes off.

Galway 0-2 Dublin 0-1
11 mins – This time Mannion makes no mistake into the Davin End, the Kilmacud Crokes man sweeping over Dublin’s first point of the night.

Donegal 0-2 Meath 0-2
10 mins – Better stuff from Meath. A Mickey Newman converted free gets them up and running before Shane McEntee doubles their score count to bring them level.

Galway 0-3 Dublin 0-2
16 mins – Neat interplay between McDaid and Cooke culminates in the former charging through the Dublin defence and blasting over a point for Galway. Dublin respond and it’s newcomer Sean Bulger who pops over a point.

18 minutes gone in Limerick on a chilly night and it’s still 0-2 apiece. A low scoring affair wasn’t really envisaged for this one.

Meath 0-3 Donegal 0-2
13 mins – Up in Ballybofey and Darragh Campion swings over a point that puts Meath ahead now, makes it three-in-a-row from them.

Close! Galway get a sight of goal through Padraig Cunningham as he makes his way in on the endline but his left-foot blast goes wide from a tight angle as Evan Comerford approached.

Tipperary 0-3 Limerick 0-3
21 mins – Placed ball conversions from Callanan and Byrnes as the teams trade points in Limerick.

Limerick 0-4 Tipperary 0-3
22 mins – A spell of tough, scrappy play is rounded off by the sliotar squirting loose for Darragh O’Donovan to collect and lob over a point for Limerick. 

Tipperary 1-3 Limerick 0-4
23 mins – That Limerick advantage did not last long! Tipperary counter upfield and it’s Willie Connors with a lovely flick pass that Maher meets before unleashing a bullet to the net past Nickie Quaid. Powerful finish and Tipperary almost grab a second as Jason Forde goes close soon after.

Dublin 0-3 Galway 0-3
22 mins – All square thanks to a free that is nailed by Dublin’s Dean Rock.

Meath 0-6 Donegal 0-4
20 mins – A spree of points, James McEntee with the latest to nudge Meath ahead by two.

Galway 0-4 Dublin 0-3
23 mins – Super stuff from Peter Cooke for Galway, stepping in from the left wing, a swift exchange of handpasses and then a classy shot from the NUI Galway student. Galway up by one.

Tipperary 1-4 Limerick 0-5
26 mins – A Gillane free and Limerick trim the deficit they face to two.

Willie Connors and Conor Boylan Tipperary's Willie Connors battling with Limerick's Conor Boylan. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Tipperary 1-6 Limerick 1-5
30 minis – Actually looks like that was Graeme Mulcahy who got the final touch for Limerick, not Downes. He rose to flick a long delivery in, getting ahead of Tipp goalkeeper Brian Hogan.

A Niall Kane point pushes Meath in front 0-7 to 0-5 against Donegal. A Gillane free has brought Limerick level at 1-6 apiece in their home tie. And we’ve got Dublin in front in Croke Park, 0-5 to 0-4, courtesy of scores supplied by Cormac Costello and Dean Rock.

Padraig Cunningham with John Small and Liam Flatman Galway's Padraig Cunningham in opposed by Dublin defenders John Small and Liam Flatman. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

Tipperary 1-7 Limerick 1-7
36 mins – Into first-half injury-time and no one is breaking clear. Callanan edges Tipperary in front, Gillane responds in kind for Limerick.

Dublin 0-6 Galway 0-5
35 mins – Points traded by Dean Rock and Shane Walsh as the interval draws near.

Close contests the order of the night so far as we get set for half-time shortly in Dublin, Limerick and Ballybofey.

So that’s the state of play at the break with Tipperary, Dublin and Meath all holding single point advantages. Plenty to battle out for in the second half.

Here’s the first-half goals at the Gaelic Grounds from Patrick Maher and Graeme Mulcahy.

From our man Kevin O’Brien in Croke Park tonight, here’s his first-half verdict:

Not much excitement on offer tonight in Croke Park with both teams defending in numbers. Dublin have been wasteful in front of goal with six wides and two dropped short, although Cormac Costello is looking lively in attack. Thomas Flynn hasn’t been utilised properly so for Galway at full-forward with just high balls delivered inside so far.

And the second-half action is under way in the battle for league points in Round 2 of the Allianz GAA Leagues.

Dublin 0-8 Galway 0-5
39 mins – Smart start to the second half by Dublin. Mannion weighs in with a point, Rock punches over another and there’s three between them. Super mark by Brian Fenton was the launchpad for that last score.

Limerick 1-10 Tipperary 1-9
41 mins – We’ve Limerick in the ascendancy now as Byrnes fires over a point from distance.

Callanan draws Tipperary level at 1-10 apiece while Jamie Brennan does likewise for Donegal and leaves them tied at 0-8 each with Meath. 

Meath 0-11 Donegal 0-8
Three on the bounce propels Meath into a really good position now.

Peter Casey on for a Limerick team who have pushed in front by 1-12 to 1-10, Kevin Downes the man withdrawn.

Dublin 0-9 Galway 0-6
46 mins – A badly needed score for Galway as Barry McHugh shoots over a free. But then Paul Mannion robs Sean Andy Ó Ceallaigh, tears forward and is fouled with Rock tapping over the point.

Cein D'Arcy with Cormac Costello Galway's Cein Darcy with Cormac Costello of Dublin.

Gearoid Hegarty and Alan Flynn Limerick's Gearoid Hegarty up against Tipperary's Alan Flynn. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Limerick 1-13 Tipperary 1-11
49 mins – Gillane scores to give Limerick that bit of a cushion again on the scoreboard and some sterling defensive work by Tom Condon denies Tipperary at the other end.

Meath 0-12 Donegal 0-9
47 mins – A Niall O’Donnell score helps Donegal claw back that deficit they face against Meath.

Limerick 1-14 Tipperary 1-11
52 mins – A point over from the centre by Dan Morrissey, well-struck short after good spade work by Peter Casey to lay it off to him.

Dublin 0-10 Galway 0-6
54 mins – A swift counter-attack by Dublin pays dividend as a shot is clipped over expertly by Cormac Costello.

Limerick 1-15 Tipperary 1-12
54 mins – Tipperary trying to stay in touch on a really difficult night for hurling as Callanan shoots over a free but then Conor Boylan, seemingly off balance, hangs a high shot over the bar for Limerick. 

Meath 0-13 Donegal 0-9
51 mins – Could this be a big result for Meath? They look to be in a fine position as James McEntee sends them clear by four.

Dublin 1-12 Galway 0-6
57 minis – And that has the look of a score that will clinch this contest. Paul Flynn’s shot attempt into the Hill drops short and Manus Breathnach can’t clear his lines. Rock gathers to lash in the first goal of the night. Niall Scully adds another point shortly after from a mark and there’s nine between the sides now.

Galway go long and direct, Barry McHugh gathers and offloads under pressure to Padraig Cunningham who is repelled by a super block from Eoin Murchan. Dublin point at the other end from Rock, no disputing the superior force in this one.

Limerick 1-16 Tipperary 1-13
58 mins – Heading into the home straight in the Gaelic Grounds and three points between them now.

Dublin wheeling the big guns off the bench. Paul Flynn, Jack McCaffrey and Brian Howard have all come on during this second-half, newcomer Darren Gavin gets a run out at midfield.

Meath 0-14 Donegal 1-10
59 mins – And just as Meath were starting to put daylight between the teams, Donegal hit back. Just a point between them now as McGonigle finds the net.

Jack Morris and Colin Ryan Tipperary's Jake Morris tears clear of Limerick's Colin Ryan. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Meath 0-14 Donegal 1-11
62 mins – Now it’s all square thanks to a point from Ciaran Thompson for Donegal.

Five minutes left for Tipperary to dig something out of this encounter. They trail Limerick 1-17 to 1-13 on a night where their free-taking has been poor.

Limerick 1-18 Tipperary 1-13
68 mins – No mistake at the other end and Aaron Gillane sends Limerick clear by five. They’re in a really strong position now.

And at that Padraic Maher pulls a point back for Tipperary. Four in it.

Limerick 1-19 Tipperary 1-14
70 mins – Looks like it’s going to be another profitable outing for Limerick. Five points separating the teams once more. Tipperary’s Barry Heffernan took a heavy knock there and is down.

So with Dublin and Limerick in control, it’s Ballybofey which is set to go down to the wire it seems. All square at 1-11 to 0-14 after 68 minutes.

Limerick 1-20 Tipperary 1-14
73 mins – Paddy O’Loughlin and Peter Casey link up for the latter to shoot over the latest Limerick point.

Could that be the winner? Eoin McHugh nudges Donegal in front by 1-12 to 0-14 against Meath.

Result: Donegal 1-13 Meath 0-14

So that’s a really good night’s work for Limerick. They go top of the Division 1A hurling league table with two wins from two.

Man-of-the-match Diarmaid Byrnes after the match and manager John Kiely before the match both referenced the fact it was their first Division 1A league tie on home soil since 2009. Clearly this was a game that they targeted and were full value for the win.

Next up for them is away to Kilkenny on 17 February with Tipperary away to Wexford on the same day.

Football league kingpins Dublin back to winning ways then after that 11-point success over Galway. They head to Tralee next Saturday night with Galway away to Monaghan on Sunday afternoon.

Donegal top with two wins from two in Division 2 of the football league after tonight’s win over Meath. They’ll be away to Tipperary next Sunday with Meath at home to Armagh.

That’s all from us then, thanks for joining the coverage. Check back in tomorrow, plenty to look forward to with another hectic day of football and hurling league action.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole


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