Allianz NHL Division One Round Up and League Table

From www.gaa.ie

Kilkenny, Tipperary and Galway all won on Sunday to maintain excitement in the top flight.

Clare 1-9 Kilkenny 3-16

Kilkenny all but ensured Clare’s relegation from the top flight of the National Hurling League with a 3-16 to 1-9 win at Cusack Park, the Division One leaders again much too good for their opponents on Sunday.

Three second-half goals sealed the deal for the Cats against a team who have now lost all five games and will need the Gaelic Games equivalent of snookers to remain in the top bracket. In truth, Kilkenny were not at their best, but being equally honest , they did not have to be.

Just as they did a week previously against Tipperary, the Cats flew out of the blocks, their rampant attacking seeing them 0-5 to 0-0 up in no time. Richie Power bagged the first two before Aidan Fogarty, Richie Hogan and the returning Henry Shefflin all got off the mark in the early stages.

The Banner finally got on the scoreboard with the help of a triumvirate of frees from Colin Ryan, who continues to shine in a poor season for his side. Tony Carmody also got off the mark midway through the half, but another Shefflin score lifted Kilkenny three points clear again.

Power could have goaled for Kilkenny but struck the post with a well-hit effort. Clare’s Ryan hit two more points in the first half as Power and Shefflin kept the Cats ahead, Brian Cody’s masters three cleat at the break on a score of 0-9 to 0-6.

The second half started with a goal for Kilkenny as Eoin Larkin played the ball over the top for Fogarty and he beat Patrick Kelly with a fine finish.

Ryan responded again for Clare before being withdrawn. Shefflin and Niall Gilligan traded points before King Henry raised the green flag with Kilkenny’s second goal. Kelly in nets did not cover himself in glory as he failed to pressure the talisman in black and amber, who ran onto another Larkin set-up and booted the ball over the line.

Mike McNamara introduced Barry Nugent, a great move considering he rattled the ball to the back of the net with his first touch, but do that to Kilkenny and they’ll just get you back straight away, Fogarty getting his second goal of the day with another lethal finish, bringing to an end even any suggestion of a contest.

Tipperary 2-19 Dublin 4-11

Tipperary held their nerve to scrape a narrow two-point win over a brave and capable Dublin outfit at Semple Stadium on Sunday.

Having watched their footballers earn promotion to Division Two of the National Football League when they earlier beat Louth on the same pitch, the players playing the game that the Premier County is more associated with almost found themselves on the end a surprise defeat by a county where football is still the big one.

David Treacy, Alan McCrabbe and David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan all fired in goals for Anthony Daly’s side, but after seeing the men from Leinster go level with them, Tipp just finished the stronger to go two points ahead of Dublin and level on eight with Kilkenny at the summit.

Shane Durkan and McCrabbe struck early scores for the Dubs, quickly cancelled out by James Woodlock and Noel McGrath before Seamus Callanan burst forward, beating two men before ramming in the first of the day’s barrage of goals.

Shane McGrath made it 1-3 to 0-2 before Treacy notched his first score of the day and O’Callaghan got his name on the scoresheet as well.

Tipp boss Liam Sheedy introduced Gearóid Ryan as a sub midway through the half and the new man earned a huge piece of luck when his speculative ball into the Dublin danger area was misjudged by Shane McGuire and bounced in for a soft Tipperary goal.

Tipp had been the more fluent throughout to this point, but Daly’s charges hit back and a fine footballesque move involving several hand passes came to Treacy who slammed in his side’s first goal.

Tipp giant Seamus Hennessey responded with three Premier points, one a fine free to make it 2-10 to 1-5. However, the half-time gap was reduced to five when poor defending from Sheedy’s charges – something they have been guilty of more than once this campaign – allowed Treacy to steal in for his second goal, setting up an exciting second half.

That half started with two Tipp points, but points from McCrabbe and Treacy were quickly added to by another Dubs goal, the former this time finding the net to leave just one between the sides, Sheedy’s men now 2-12 to 3-8 ahead.

Then after Tipp had a goal disallowed for a square ball, Dublin went up the other end, another of this year’s stars Liam Rushe setting up O’Callaghan to ram in a goal and the sides were deadlocked.

Unfortunately for Dublin, that was where their steam appeared to run out and as Tony Scroope kick-started a flurry of late Tipp scores, two points from O’Callaghan were all that Dublin could muster and the holders held on for a two-point win.

Waterford 2-12 Galway 1-21

Two late goals from the outstanding Eoin Kelly almost stunned Galway at Fraher Field on Sunday but they had done enough prior to the late rally to secure the spoils against Waterford.

The Tribesmen had been well in front until Kelly’s quickfire double but late points from Cyril Donnellan and Joe Canning, who hit nine points in total, eased Galway’s worries as they moved to a six-point win.

Shane O’Sullivan and Kelly put Waterford two points to no-score up early on but David Tierney, Niall Healy and Canning put Galway in front. Kelly’s 65 levelled things up as the game settled into a brisk pace.

Galway played against the wind in the first half but they were still the better side and after 25 minutes, they led by a point. Two points from Canning, including one massive effort from a free from 78m kept them clear.

Just before the break, Donnellan hit a crucial goal to cement Galway’s lead. He won a puck-out before racing towards goal and emphatically smashing the ball to the net. It meant John McIntyre’s side led 1-8 to 0-8 at half-time.

The weather had turned significantly by the start of the second half with rain belting down all around Fraher Field. Galway were still in the ascendancy after the restart, a brace from Canning and a Healy point pushing them six clear.

Kelly kept Waterford in it with his seventh point but Canning’s sixth extended the lead to seven.

Then, Kelly’s two goals threatened to derail what had become a procession for Galway. The first came about after a defensive mix-up and the second was a 65 from Kelly which flew straight into the net.

Galway were briefly rattled but the late sparkle from Canning and Donnellan smoothed the path to the finish. 

Cork 1-20 Limerick 2-16

Cork’s reputation as the comeback kings was further enhanced when they recovered from a four-point deficit in the last ten minutes to snatch a win over unlucky Limerick in a cracking Allianz NHL Division One clash at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sunday.

After beating Clare in similar fashion last week they helped ease their relegation fears, with Neil Ronan’s point in the 72nd minute securing the three points.

The win sparked joyous scenes amongst the Cork supporters, who spilled on to the pitch to congratulate the players in their first appearance on home soil this year.

Incoming manager Denis Walsh spoke to his players on the pitch after the match, with John Considine handing over the reins after leading the Rebels to two wins from two.

However, Limerick boss Justin McCarthy, who was returning to his native county, will feel an injustice was done as his side led by four points after Donal O’Grady netted a superb goal in the 56th minute.

However, Ben O’Connor, brilliant all day from placed balls, added two points before Tadhg Og Murphy grabbed the equaliser in injury time.

Brian Murray drove the ball down the field and Limerick midfielder Wayne McNamara had a great chance to nick two points, but his effort was tame and fell into Donal Og Cusack’s hands just under the crossbar.

But Cork, displaying the never-say-die attitude that has become their calling card, somehow fashioned a scoring opportunity for Ronan, who fired over the winning point two minutes into stoppage time.

Cork had started brilliantly, with Jerry O’Connor scoring a bullet goal after just one minute to give the Rebels an early lead. However, Limerick had Niall Moran in great form and levelled the game after 24 minutes when Pat Tobin netted a fine goal.

David Breen won the ball at the Blackrock end and although he looked to have taken the sliotar over the line, managed to drive a low ball across the square to Tobin, who connected superbly first time and gave Cusack no chance.

Tobin then added a point from play to give the Treaty men the lead for the first time. Cork responded through Tom Kenny and Kieran ‘Hero’ Murphy, but O’Grady and Niall Moran edged Limerick ahead, 1-11 to 1-9 at the break.

The early stages of the second half were a little more muted, with Ben O’Connor and Niall Moran trading frees.

Then O’Grady struck for what looked like the all-important goal, and Moran added a free to leave Limerick five points ahead.

However, Cork, inspired by Ben O’Connor, and Ronan’s late point secured a vital league win that should guarantee Division One hurling next year. 


Allianz GAA Hurling National League Roinn 1 Table

Team Pld Won Draw Lost For Against Diff Points
Kilkenny 5 4 0 1 114 76 38 8
Tipperary 5 4 0 1 103 95 8 8
Dublin 5 3 0 2 103 85 18 6
Galway 5 3 0 2 96 97 -1 6
Waterford 5 2 0 3 90 90 0 4
Limerick 5 2 0 3 87 88 -1 4
Cork 5 2 0 3 83 113 -30 4
Clare 5 0 0 5 78 110 -32 0

 

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