Dublin 0-18 Kilkenny 1-20: Cats finish with a flourish to see off Sky Blues at Parnell Park

Kilkenny are up and running in the National Hurling League after a 1-20 to 0-18 win over Dublin at Parnell Park.

It was a long winter on Nore-side, reflecting on their All-Ireland semi-final collapse against Waterford last November. The scars are yet to heal.

“We’ve spent the last four months talking about the third quarter,” was one soundbite which emerged from the Kilkenny huddle at the second water-break, as they lamented the surrendering of a four-point cushion.

However, they finished strongly. A Martin Keoghan goal saw the visitors take a firm grip on the contest and they kicked on for a five-point victory.

Kilkenny welcomed back Adrian Mullen, who missed all of last season through injury. The 2019 Young Hurler of the Year captains the Nore-siders for 2021, but was unable to have a significant impact on proceedings and was withdrawn at half-time.

Cuala’s Seán Brennan was a notable inclusion for Dublin, replacing Alan Nolan between the sticks. He justified his selection with an impressive display, picking out Danny Sutcliffe and Ronan Hayes with his puckouts, and denying Martin Keoghan from close range in the first half. Indeed, Hayes was the Sky Blues’ main attacking outlet, fielding several long balls.

Liam Rushe played as a spare man in the Dublin defence, and he looked impressive throughout the first half, keeping a close eye on TJ Reid.

The Cats took in a two-point advantage at half-time, 0-11 to 0-9, but neither manager will have been pleased with the shooting, with Dublin hitting nine wides to Kilkenny’s eight.

Dublin had a golden opportunity at the start of the second half, but Eamonn Dillon shot wide when the ball fell him after Eoin Murphy parried a Sutcliffe shot on goal.

The sides continued to go point-for-point, with Donal Burke and TJ Reid trading scores from placed balls.

The Ballyhale star did edge the Cats four ahead, but Dublin rallied before the water break to pull it level. 0-16 each.

While frustration grew for the Leinster champions having surrendered their advantage, they looked to land a killer blow in the fourth quarter.

They found exactly that, as a long diagonal ball was played in, and Martin Keoghan managed to shrug off two defenders before firing into the Dublin net.

Liam Rushe was then given his marching orders after being shown a second yellow card for a foul on Conor Browne, and the game was over for a contest.

Two late David Treacy frees for Dublin failed to reel in the visitors, as Kilkenny held on for a deserved victory.

Scorers

Dublin: Donal Burke (0-7, 0-5 frees, 0-1 ’65), Danny Sutcliffe (0-2), Chris Crummey (0-2), David Treacy (0-2 – 0-2 frees), Daire Gray (0-1), Andrew Dunphy (0-1), David Keogh (0-1), Cian Boland (0-1), Eamonn Dillon (0-1).

Kilkenny: Martin Keoghan (1-4), TJ Reid (0-7, 0-6 frees, 0-1 ’65), James Bergin (0-2), Pádraig Walsh (0-2), John Donnelly (0-2), Darragh Corcoran (0-1), Cillian Buckley (0-1), Alan Murphy (0-1).

Teams

Dublin

1. Seán Brennan

2. Paddy Smyth
3. Eoghan O’Donnell
18. Andrew Dunphy

7. Seán Moran
6. Liam Rushe
5. Daire Gray

8. Conor Burke
9. James Madden

12. Ronan Hayes
11. Chris Crummey
10. Danny Sutcliffe

15. David Keogh
13. Donal Burke
14. Eamonn Dillon

Subs:
Rian McBride for Seán Moran (41st minute)
Cian Boland for David Keogh (45th minute)
Cian O’Sullivan for Donal Burke (60th minute)
Jake Malone for Conor Burke (64th minute)
Paul O’Dea for James Madden (71st minute)
David Treacy for Ronan Hayes (72nd minute)
Oisín O’Rorke for Eamonn Dillon (74th minute)

Kilkenny

1. Eoin Murphy

2. Ciarán Wallace
3. Huw Lawlor
4. Paddy Deegan

5. Darragh Corcoran
6. Pádraig Walsh
7. Conor Browne

8. Cillian Buckley
9. Richie Leahy

10. John Donnelly
11. Adrian Mullen
12. Martin Keoghan

13. James Bergin
14. TJ Reid
15. Eoin Cody

Subs:
Richie Reid for Richie Leahy (11th minute)
James Maher for Adrian Mullen (half-time)
Michael Carey for Cillian Buckley (53rd minute)
Alan Murphy for James Bergin (55th minute)

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