ON A COLD, blustery afternoon in Parnell Park, Dublin maintained their unbeaten start to the season after an entertaining draw with Waterford.
This was February hurling at its best. Both counties went hell for leather for the two points in this Division 1 Group B opener. The teams were level seven times in a tie that featured plenty of mistakes but one that was full of intensity, honesty and physicality.
It was a full incident with two reds, two blacks and 14 yellows handed out by referee Colum Cunning. There were two penalties awarded, both for Waterford and converted by Stephen Bennett. The full-forward finished with 2-10 but was well shackled by play by the excellent Eoghan O’Donnell.
Dublin may feel aggrieved not to have won it given they missed two late shots at the posts, but overall both Mattie Kenny and Liam Cahill could be reasonably happy with a share of the spoils.
The Sky Blues shared around their scorers far more than their opponents as nine players hit the scoreboard, though marksman Donal Burke led the way.
Having scored 0-42 in the pre-season, the Na Fianna forward continued his deadly accurate shooting with a 12-point haul here. Elsewhere Danny Sutcliffe won man-of-the-match after getting through a sight of ball and their midfield partnership of Conor Burke and Chris Crummey controlled much of the match.
Dublin played 20 minutes with a man disadvantage having seen Cian O’Callaghan and Sean Brennan black carded in either half. O’Callaghan received a late red card to see Dublin reduced to 14 men while Conor Prunty likewise received his marching orders shortly before the finish.
Dublin’s Cian O’Callaghan is sent-off.
Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO
This was Cahill’s first competitive game in charge since he turned down the offer to take over his native Tipperary and there was plenty to please him from Waterford’s performance.
Despite missing their Ballygunner contingent, in addition to Jamie Barron, Tadhg de Burca and Shane McNulty, they gave their fill of it to an almost full-strength Dublin.
The Deise were led by Austin Gleeson at centre-forward, while Tom Barron and DJ Foran enjoyed bright spells.
The Waterford boss stated earlier this week he hopes to reach the knockout stages of the league. This may well turn out to be a valuable point in the race to emerge from a group that also includes Tipperary, Kilkenny, Antrim and Laois.
Dublin arrived into this game in good form, having easily defeated Wexford and Galway during their run to the Walsh Cup title.
Backed by a very strong breeze, Dublin raced into an early three point lead. The first major talking point of the clash arrived when Colin Dunford was fouled by Cian O’Callaghan after he skinned Andrew Dunphy.
Because a goalscoring was denied by O’Callaghan, a penalty was awarded and the Cuala defender was sinbinned. Stephen Bennett drilled the penalty into the bottom corner, sending the Deise 1-1 to 0-3 ahead.
Waterford added a pair of scores through Austin Gleeson who looked dangerous in the opening half. After O’Callaghan returned to the field and Dublin were restored to their full compliment they shot seven scores without reply to take control.
The pick of them came from full-back Eoghan O’Donnell, who fired from over well inside his own half. Burke added five frees as Kenny’s side led by 0-11 to 1-4 at the break.
There was a sense however, that Dublin’s eight wides would prove costly given the size of the gale behind Waterford after the interval.
It was a niggly opening period where six yellow cards were handed out, split evenly between the teams. That figure had risen to 12 by the 49th minute after an off-the-ball scuffle that resulted in a lengthy stoppage as the referee consulted with his umpires.
Dublin’s Donal Burke tackles Carthach Daly of Waterford.
Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO
Three scores from Burke left Dublin 0-13 to 1-6 ahead but Waterford started to assert themselves on the contest. Gleeson continued to cause problems and he won a close-range free that Bennett drilled over.
Bennett set-up Dunford with a diagonal ball for a score and then Foran drove over his second impressive effort. Just like the first, Waterford’s second goal arrived from Bennett’s stick via a penalty. Gleeson won a long delivery and picked out Jack Prendergast who somehow ghosted unmarked in front of Sean Brennan’s goal.
Brennan raced out and tripped Prendergast as he attempted to sidestep the keeper just inside the 21. Brennan was black carded, with Ronan Hayes replaced by sub goalie Alan Nolan. Bennett dispatched the penalty to push his team 2-10 to 0-15.
In the end it was a battle between free-takers Burke and Bennett as the sides were inseparable after an exciting finish.
Scorers for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 2-10 (2-0 pen, 0-9f), Austin Gleeson and DJ Foran 0-2 each, Colin Dunford 0-1.
Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke 0-12 (0-10f, 0-1 65), Conor Burke 0-2, Eoghan O’Donnell, Chris Crummey, Riain McBride, Danny Sutcliffe, Ronan Hayes, Fergal Whitely and Eamonn Dillon 0-1 each.
1. Shaun O’Brien (De La Salle)
2. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater), 3. Conor Prunty (Abbeyside), 4. Kieran Bennett (Ballysaggart) 4. Darragh Lynch (Passage)
5. Jack Fagan (De La Salle), 6. Iarlaith Daly (Lismore), 7. Tom Barron (Fourmilewater)
8. Carthach Daly (Lismore), 9. Jack Prendergast (Lismore)
10. Michael Kiely (Abbeyside), 11. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion), 12. DJ Foran (Portlaw)
10. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan), 14. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart), 15. Colin Dunford (Colligan)
20. Michael Kiely (Abbeyside) for Shane Bennett (48)
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21. Billy Power (Clonea) for Dunford (61)
24. Ciaran Kirwan (Kill) for Gleeson (67)
1. Sean Brennan (Cuala)
2. Andrew Dunphy (St Brigi’ds) 3. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille), 4. Cian O’Callaghan (Cuala)
17. John Bellew (Lucan Sarsfields), 6. Paddy Smyth (Clontarf), 7. James Madden (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
8. Conor Burke (St Vincent’s), 9. Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields)
12. Danny Sutcliffe (St Jude’s), 11. Riain McBride (St Vincent’s), 1. Donal Burke (Na Fianna)
13. Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes), 14. Ronan Hayes (Kilmacud Crokes) 15. Colin Currie (Na Fianna).
23 Eamonn Dillon (St Finbarr’s) for Currie (48)
16. Alan Nolan (St Brigid’s) for Hayes (54)
22. Davy Keogh (Thomas Davis) for Brennan (64)
Referee: Colum Cunning (Antrim).