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14-man Dublin head for relegation play-off despite pushing Kilkenny all the way in physical affair

Dublin lost Gary Maguire to a red card after 31 minutes.

Kilkenny 2-20

Dublin 1-16

Kevin O’Brien reports from Parnell Park

DUBLIN WILL BE left wondering what might have been as a red card for Gary Maguire after 31 minutes ultimately cost them in a titanic clash with Kilkenny.

Colin Fennelly with Rian McBride and Eoghan O'Donnell Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

The Cats ran out seven point winners in the end, but these young Dubs can hold their heads up high after severely testing Kilkenny, both in the physical and hurling stakes.

The result means Kilkenny will face Wexford in the National Hurling League quarter-final next weekend, while Dublin will battle Clare in a bid to avoid the drop to the second tier.

The sight of Richie Hogan being called ashore by Brian Cody after 53 minutes gives an indication to the pressure Kilkenny were under throughout, but eventually the made their experience and spare man count.

Cody revealed after the game that Hogan had suffered from back spasms earlier in the week, but he was denied any opportunity to pick off his usual array of scores in the pocket by a hard-working home outfit.

TJ Reid contributed handsomely for the winners with 0-10, including six frees, but it was the performances of youngsters Conor Martin and Liam Blanchfield that left Kilkenny fans purring on their trip home from the capital.

Pat Lyng with Shane Barrett Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Martin, in his debut season, finished with 1-5 from play, while Blanchfield’s tally of 1-2 isn’t to be sniffed at. If that duo can carry some of the scoring burden that has been weighing Reid and Hogan down, then Cody will consider the league campaign a major success.

Remember, his attack also has Kevin Kelly and Ger Alwayrd to slot back in. The well hasn’t run dry yet.

Dublin played an intelligent tactical game, with Domhnall Fox acting as a spare defender on the half-back line. It was a game-plan that served them well right up until Maguire’s dismissal, which left Ger Cunningham with no option but to abandon the extra back for the second-half.

The menacing presence of Donal Burke, a year out of minor, in the inside corner meant Dublin had a steady supply of scores (1-7), while Chris Crummey chipped over three points in on of the most effective man marking jobs of the Ballyhale man you’re ever likely to see.

Martin bagged a 4th minute goal for the Cats, but it quickly became apparent they weren’t going to have things all their own way. Donal Burke and Niall McMorrow were among the scores as the home side edged in front by 0-7 to 1-3 after 23 minutes.

They key moment of the game arrived eight minutes later. A good Kilkenny move culminated in Blanchfield rattling the onion bag from close-range. Dublin keeper Gary Maguire was dismissed for his desperate swing across Blanchfield as he attempted to prevent the goal.

Chris Crummy with TJ Reid, Richie Hogan and Conor Martin Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Dublin went in at the break a point behind and, crucially, a man behind, despite producing most of the good play in the opening period.

Conor Martin bagged a 4th minute goal for the Cats, but it quickly became apparent they weren’t going to have things all their own way. Donal Burke and Niall McMorrow were among the scores as the home side edged in front by 0-7 to 1-3 after 23 minutes.

They key moment of the game arrived eight minutes later. A good Kilkenny move culminated in Blanchfield rattling the onion bag from close-range. Dublin keeper Gary Maguire was sent off for his wild swing across Blanchfield, breaking his hurley off the corner-forward as he attempted to prevent the goal.

Dublin went in at the break a point behind and, crucially, a man behind, despite producing most of the good play in the opening period.

Donal Burke rolled in a goal for the home side minutes after the turnaround, but Reid, Hogan and Martin all responded with points leave the Cats in front by 2-11 to 1-12 at the end of the 3rd quarter.

The numerical disadvantage had taken its toll on Cunningham’s troops by the finish and Reid put the gloss on the win with his precise dead ball shooting in the closing stages.

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-10 (0-6 frees), Conor Martin 1-5, Liam Blanchfield 1-2, Conor Fogarty, Walter Walsh and Richie Hogan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke 1-9 (0-7 frees), Chris Crummey 0-3, Ben Quinn, Ryan O’Dwyer, Cian Boland and Niall McMorrow 0-1 each.

Kilkenny

1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)

2. Paul Murphy (Danesfort)
3. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
4. Conor O’Shea (Clara)

5. Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own)
6. Jason Cleere (Bennettsbridge)
7. Shane Prendergast (Clara)

8. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
9. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro)

10. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
11. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)
12. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

12. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
14. Richie Hogan (Danesfort)
15. Conor Martin (Emeralds)

Subs

22. Pat Lyng for Fennelly (blood sub, 16 to 25)
17. Joey Holden for P Walsh (ht)
Kieran Joyce for O’Shea (61)

Yellow: Conor Martin

Dublin

1. Gary Maguire (Ballyboden St Enda’s)

19. Fionn Ó Riain Broin (St Judes)
3. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille)
4. Shane Barrett (Na Fianna)

5. Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields)
6. Liam Rushe (St Patrick’s Palmerstown)
2. Cian MacGabhann (Kilmacud Crokes)

7. Ben Quinn (Crumlin)
8. Domhnall Fox (St Jude’s)

10. Eoghan Conroy (St Maur)
11. Niall McMorrow (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
14. Ryan O’Dwyer (Kilmacud Crokes)

15. Eamon Dillon (Naomh Fionnbarra)
24. Donal Burke (Na Fianna)
13. Cian Boland  (St Oliver Plunketts)

Subs

16. Conor Dooley for Conroy (31)
12. Fiontan McGibb for Fox (ht)
Rian McBride for MacGabhann (52)
Cian O’Sullivan for Boland (58)
Fergal Whiteley for Fox (65)

Yellow: Ryan O’Dwyer
Red: Gary Maguire

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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