Dublin 2-17 Clare 0-17
AHEAD of round 2 of the Allianz Hurling League, Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald warned of a backlash from Dublin following their thirteen point defeat at the hands of Galway in round 1.
His fears were realised at Parnell Park this Sunday when the Leinster champions of 2013, managed by former Clare captain, Anthony Daly, proved too strong for the All-Ireland champions and deservingly came out on top.
After two rounds of the league, all six participating teams have recorded one win each and its interesting to note that the home team has won on each occasion. These results suggests that the outcome of the league will be in doubt right to the final day
An outstanding performance from the half back trio of Shane Durkin, Liam Rushe and Michael Carton proved too much for the Bannermen who were chasing the game from the outset. While the foundations for this win were laid in the half back line, the contribution of Conal Keaney in the attack also had a key role in the result.
Keaney scored the game’s first goal in the fourteenth minute when he collected a delivery from team captain Johnnie McCafferty before giving Donal Tuohy no chance with a well placed strike. The goal put the Dubs seven points clear, 1-6 to 0-2 and left Clare in no doubt as to the task they were facing.
With five minutes to go to half time Clare had the margin down to a goal after John Conlon had scored the third of his first half points. With Alan McCrabbe in deadly form from placed balls the winners were five clear when the half time whistle sounded, 1-12 to 0-10. Indeed had midfielder Colm Cronin converted a golden goal opportunity in injury time, the winner’s half time lead would have been greater.
With wind advantage in the second half, Clare were expected to come bouncing back but a Dublin goal nine minutes into the new period rocked the visitors. A superb David O’Callaghan pass picked out Cronin who gave Tuohy no chance. O’Callaghan saw his effort for a goal rebound off the crossbar a minute later before an excellent Shane Durkin point left Dublin nine points clear, 2-15 to 0-12, with twenty four minutes remaining.
Four unanswered Clare points had the margin back to five with as many minutes remaining but despite having a couple of good point scoring opportunities in the remaining time, Clare failed to add to their tally. On the day Dublin were fully deserving of their win but with score difference counting Clare may well regret missed chances in the closing minutes when they tried for goals from two close in frees, both of which were saved.
Liam Rushe Shane Durkin, Michael Carton, Conal Keaney, David O’Callaghan and Alan McCrabbe stood out for the winners. Pat Donnellan, Pat O’Connor, Donal Tuohy John Conlon and Conor McGrath were best for Clare
;–Gary Maguire; Niall Corcoran, Peter Kelly, Simon Timlin; Shane Durkin (0-2), Liam Rushe, Michael Carton; Colm Cronin (1-1), Johnnie McCafferty (0-1); Conal Keaney (1-3) Ryan O’Dwyer, Danny Sutcliffe; David O’Callaghan (0-1), Mark Schutte, Alan McCrabbe (0-8), 7 frees, 1 sideline;
—Jack Dougan for Timlin (32 minutes); Eamonn Dillon for McCrabbe (62 minutes); David Treacy for O’Callaghan (66 minutes) Niall McMorrow for O’Dwyer (69 minutes);
;–Donal Tuohy; Seadna Morey, David McInerney, Cian Dillon; Pat O’Connor, Conor Ryan, Brendan Bugler; Patrick Donnellan, Shane Golden; John Conlon (0-3), Tony Kelly (0-2), 1 free, Colin Ryan (0-6), all frees; Conor McGrath (0-1) Shane O’Donnell, Colm Galvin;
—Nicky O’Connell for Golden (half time); Cathal O’Connell (0-1) for Conor Ryan (41 minutes); Bobby Duggan (0-2), both frees) for Colin Ryan (50 minutes); David Reidy for Morey (64 minutes)
Referee—Alan Kelly, Galway