Allianz NHL Division 1 Round Up

There was nothing at stake other than pride in Division One of the NHL on Sunday with all the issues cleared up before the day’s play.

There were a couple of exciting games though, with Kilkenny recording a thrilling win over Dublin in the final stages and Waterford holding off a remarkable Cork fightback to secure a four-point win. There were also wins for Galway and Tipperary.

Allianz NHL Division One: Cork 3-15 Waterford 2-22

History will record Waterford as four-point victors but it won’t come close to telling the tale. The Deise were nine points up at half-time and extended that lead to 13 at one stage in the second-half before Cork made a now typically improbable fightback.

In the end, the five minute burst wasn’t enough for The Rebels but the resilience should silence some of the doubters ahead of their Championship campaign.

Waterford moved into the lead right from the off, Seamus Prendergast and Eoin Kelly knocking points over before Cork responded through a Barry Johnson goal. The visitors had the ball in the net soon after, Gary Hearney racing in and finishing well.

Jamie Nagle (2), John Mullane and Stephen Molumphy all scored in a fruitful opening twenty minutes for Waterford as they opened up a four-point lead.

Their superior fitness was telling all over the pitch as they extended the lead to nine by half-time, Nagle, Kelly and Prendergast plundering the majority of their scores.

After the break things were looking even worse for Cork when Hearney’s second goal put 13 between them, but that was the spark that seemed to finally ignite the home side as they embarked on a spectacular burst.

Paudie O’Sullivan got it started as he kicked the sliotar to the net. Then Pat Horgan clipped one over the bar before setting up corner-back Shane O’Neill for Cork’s third goal. The whirlwind didn’t end there, Tom Kenny, John Gardiner, Jerry O’Connor and Cathal Naughton all pointing to put just a goal between the teams.

Waterford managed to come out the other side of the storm though and two late Hearney points gave them some breathing space.

Kilkenny 1-23 Dublin 3-15

Dublin were on the verge of clinching a morale-boosting win over Kilkenny at Nowlan Park before The Cats rallied late on.

Brian Cody opted to make several changes to his team, so the visitors were coming up against a side missing many of those that carried Kilkenny to All-Ireland success last year – yet they still had a number of excellent players to call upon.

One of those star performers was Henry Shefflin, who popped over three points in the a row in the early stages of the match to suggest that he wasn’t prepared to gift victory to Anthony Daly’s men.

However, this is a different team to the one that Tommy Naughton had and they showed that they can mix it up against their Leinster rivals when Kevin Flynn fired in a goal for the first notable score of the encounter.

Joey Boland was impressive for The Dubs, but it was David O’Callaghan who really stood out for them with two goals and a flurry of points. The former inter-county footballer has been simply outstanding since rejoining the hurlers.

Every time that Dublin started to sneak in front, there was a reminder of the class oozing through the Kilkenny ranks with TJ Reid and Richie Hogan making good cases for regular spots in the starting XV.

As time was ticking down, it looked like the almighty Cats were going to be the losers in this particular duel until a goal from Eoin Larkin followed by a point from the same player and a score from Hogan sealed the win for the hosts.

Clare 0-19 Galway 4-16

Even though there is still plenty of work to do for Galway, they will be enthused by their second-half display in this match at Cusack Park.

The Tribesmen narrowly led 1-8 to 0-11 at the interval, but stepped up in a gear after returning to the pitch with Niall Healy leading the charge for them with two well-taken goals.

Iarlath Tannion got the first goal for Galway as they set down an early marker that they intended to finish as high as they could in Division One. Healy then started to chip in with some points to compliment that score.

There were few bright points for The Banner County although Alan Markham, Tony Carmody, and Mark Flaherty tried their best to keep the home team in the contest with some crucial scores.

Once the service into Healy started to crank up, the challenge posed by Mike McNamara’s men started to disappear. The two goals from Healy arrived and then Aonghus Callinan added another to wrap up the win.

Tipperary 1-17 Limerick 1-11

This clash in Thurles never really lifted itself above a pedestrian pace.

Tipperary always had too many guns for Limerick, with Pa Bourke and Gearóid Ryan in excellent form and although Limerick briefly threatened the Premier’s healthy lead with a late goal from Paul Browne, they had enough in the tank to rise to the challenge and take the win.

The home side hit the first five points of the day and were 0-8 to 0-2 ahead after a fertile opening quarter. Bourke, Lar Corbett, John Devane and Ryan all pointed in that period with John O’Brien and Donal O’Grady getting Limerick’s scores.

Tipperary went in 0-12 to 0-4 ahead at half-time with the prodigious Bourke slotting over four points in the first half. Benny Dunne went off injured for Tipp just before the break though in what looked like a worrying knock ahead of the Championship.

Niall Moran kept Limerick in touch after the break with some fine scores but when Ryan goaled for Tipperary to leave three goals in it, the task looked insurmountable for Limerick.

Still they battled though and Browne’s goal kept things relatively respectable until the end. 

Allianz GAA Hurling National League Roinn 1 Table
Team Pld Won Draw Lost For Against Diff Points
Kilkenny 7 6 0 1 178 111 67 12
Tipperary 7 6 0 1 143 127 16 12
Galway 7 4 0 3 142 136 6 8
Dublin 7 3 1 3 142 126 16 7
Waterford 7 3 0 4 134 134 0 6
Limerick 7 3 0 4 121 124 -3 6
Cork 7 2 0 5 118 179 -61 4
Clare 7 0 1 6 112 153 -41 1

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