By Noel Dundon
Tipperary’s senior hurlers suffered their second successive Allianz National Hurling league defeat of the season at Croke Park on Saturday night last when they fell to Dublin by a one point margin in a game which could easily have yielded a share of the spoils for the All-Ireland champions.
Even at this early stage of the competition it is hard to see the Tipp lads making the closing stages especially considering that away ties to both Cork and Galway are on the horizon.
But, while defeat raises a number of questions, it also brings with it a few positives especially in the form of newcomers John O’Neill and Michael Gleeson, both of whom seemed to settle into the side with ease – O’Neill bagging 1-2 from play and Gleeson linking well between defence and attack.
Dublin had handed out something of a hiding to Tipperary in the corresponding fixture last year in Parnell Park. And, having taken a point off Waterford in the previous round they had designs on following up with another competent performance in front of the partisan attendance.
So it was and even though the vast bulk of their scores would come from placed balls – a fact which irked, quite considerably, the Tipperary management – they were still good for the win and held out comfortably as Tipp came in search of an equaliser.
It was quite obvious from the game that Dublin are a lot further down the track at this stage of the season in terms of fitness than Tipperary.
See this weeks Tipperary Star for full match report
Teams and Scorers - Dublin: G Maguire, R Treanor, T Brady, P Kelly, S Hiney, J Boland 0-1, S Durkin, J McCaffrey, S Ryan, C Keaney 0-13, D O’Dwyer 1-0, C McCormack, D O’Callaghan, L Rushe 0-1, P Carton. Subs: R O’Dwyer for S Ryan; P Ryan for C McCormack; D Plunkett for D O’Dwyer; L Ryan for P Carton.
Tipperary: D Gleeson, P Stapleton, P Curran, M Cahill, D Young, P Maher, B Maher 0-1, M Gleeson 0-1, S McGrath 0-2, G Ryan, P Maher, S Carey, J O’Neill 1-2, P Fanning, P Bourke 0-7. Subs: B O’Meara 0-1 for Fanning; E Kelly 0-1 for Carey; B Dunne for M Gleeson; J Woodlock for G Ryan.
Referee: J Sexton (Cork).