National Hurling League – Tipperary vs. Dublin – Match Reports

Tipperary forced to dig deep to dent Dublin’s dream

IAN O’RIORDAN At Semple Stadium for the Irish Times newspaper

Tipperary 2-19 Dublin 4-11: IN THE 20 years since Dublin last beat Tipperary in a senior hurling fixture there have been several promising results but yesterday wasn’t necessarily one of them. This one wasn’t about coming so close, but about not closing them out, about not delivering on the promise as opposed to just showing it.

Even the sight of Dublin fighting it out with the reigning league champions should have been something to warm the hearts of the few travelling supporters huddled under the old stand at Semple Stadium. But in the end there was no escaping the sense of disappointment that came with the two-point defeat – and for so many reasons.

It wasn’t just that Dublin came from being eight points down, twice, in the first half, to level it on 45 minutes. Nor that they then went two points clear – and were still on level terms as the game spilled into the final 10 minutes.

Ultimately, it was the sense that Dublin probably haven’t had a better chance of making a league final for the first time since 1946. If they keep going the way they are then eventually they’ll get there, but there’s nothing worse than sniffing a prize, and then not licking it.

As a contest it was slow to start and rousing to the finish. Manager Anthony Daly has given Dublin an extra edge – in the form of the battling qualities they’ve been lacking over the years. Although Tipperary led 2-10 to 2-5 at half-time, Dublin were the more impressive as the hunt for victory got serious.

The had conceded two goals early on; the first a superb effort by Seamus Callanan, the second a fluke by Gearóid Ryan (he was clearly going for a point). But then, as if on cue, Dublin raised their game with the sort of team spirit that has recently secured them wins over Waterford and Galway.

Two goals in quick succession before the break by teenage wing forward David Treacy (who wasn’t even listed to start) brought Dublin back to within five – when they were in danger of being overwhelmed. But all around the field players stepped up: Tomás Brady was suddenly lording full back; Shane Durkan and David O’Callaghan showed for more possession up front; and Liam Rushe was possibly the busiest forward of all.

“We’re in Division One now,” said manager Daly, “but made Division Two mistakes in the first half. Like our first touch. Simple stuff. We thought they were calm, and focused, before the game, but they were actually more nervous than we thought.

“At half-time we just sat them down, told them ‘look lads, can you not see there’s nothing major to be scared of?’ I know it’s not a full Tipp team. And it’s a team that’s experimenting. But still you’d have to be happy with the way they responded.”

Seven minutes after the restart Treacy burst through for his third goal, shot close to the face of Brendan Cummins, and when he added a sublime point from the right sideline shortly afterwards, and then Alan McCrabbe hit a gem of a sideline, Dublin were level – 3-7 to 2-10.

That, naturally, made for a frantic climax. Dublin surged on and when O’Callaghan latched on to a superb pass from Durkan to score their fourth goal the game was there for the taking. Desperation doesn’t even begin to describe Tipperary’s response, but having gone down so tamely last Sunday to Kilkenny, they had to show fight – and did.

Teenager Noel McGrath had one of his best senior games and four second-half points, and five in total, helped Tipperary back into it. Tony Scroope also came on for a late score while Callanan coolly hit two late frees to earn Tipp the nervous win.

“Well there were patches of our play that we wouldn’t be satisfied with,” said manager Liam Sheedy. “But we scored 2-19. Let’s look at what we can take out of it. We don’t generally concede four goals, and of course we’re not happy with that.

“But Dublin are an improving side. They really are improving. But after going two points down, we turned it into a two-point victory. And we’ve still won four out of five matches, and are still joint top of the table this evening. . . it was always going to be a tough game, especially coming off last weekend. We settled well, but their goals just seemed to take a little out of us. . .”

“And some people were questioning our battling qualities after last Sunday. I don’t think you could question that today. We barely had the 24 players to field today. It was backs to the wall for us.”

TIPPERARY: B Cummins; E Buckley, P Curran, C O’Brien; B Maher, C O’Mahony (0-1, one 65), S Maher; G Ryan (1-0), S McGrath (0-1); S Hennessy (0-2, both frees), S Callanan (1-4, three frees), J Woodlock (0-2); N McGrath (0-5), M Webster, J O’Brien (0-3). Subs: Pat Maher for Ryan (46 mins), T Scroope (0-1) for Hennessy (49 mins), Padraic Maher for S Maher (56 mins), L Corbett for Webster (Yellow, 58 mins), B Dunne for Woodlock (65 mins),

DUBLIN: G Maguire; N Corcoran, T Brady, R Trainor; S Hiney, R Fallon, M Carton; J McCaffrey, J Boland; A McCrabbe (0-4, three frees, one sideline), L Ryan, S Durkan (0-1); D O’Callaghan (1-4, two frees), D Treacy (3-2), L Rushe. Subs: M O’Brien for Trainor (17 mins), S Lambert for Boland (half time), K Flynn for McCrabbe (51 mins), G O’Meara for O’Brien (Yellow, 61 mins),D O’Dwyer for Durkan (68 mins).

Referee: Declan O’Driscoll (Limerick)

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Treacy’s hat-trick not enough to save Dublin Tipperary 2-19 Dublin 4-11

by Michael Ellard of the Irish Examiner newspaper

A David Treacy hat-trick wasn’t enough to save Dublin from an agonising two points defeat by Tipperary in this riveting Allianz NHL Division One tie at Semple Stadium, Thurles yesterday.

Thrown in at the deep end as a last minute substitute, Treacy’s heroics seemed destined to secure Dublin’s first league victory over the premier county in 20 years of competition.

But with their backs to the wall, Tipp battled back near the end to snatch victory.

Dublin manager Anthony Daly’s pre-match fears of a Tipp backlash following their five-goal drubbing by Kilkenny the previous week looked to be spot on when after a nip-and-tuck opening quarter, the home side suddenly opened up.

After corner back Ruairi Trainor allowed the ball to run free off his chest, Tipp centre forward Seamus Cannanan soloed through to goal.

Impressive corner forwards John O’Brien and Noel McGrath added some magnificent points as Tipp, with the aid of the wind, opened up a commanding lead.

And things went from bad to worse for Dublin when goalkeeper Gary Maguire failed to block a high ball from midfielder Gearoid Ryan in the 25th minute for Tipp’s second fortuitous goal.

Now trailing by 2-7 to 0-5, it looked all up for Dublin and as Daly said, "we are now a division one side but we made two division two mistakes to allow Tipperary to place us in that intimidating position at that stage in the game."

But this is a rapidly maturing Dublin side who resolutely refuse to allow their heads drop.

And to the consternation of the home supporters, Dublin, with corner forward David O’Callaghan tearing their defence to shreds with some delightful probing runs, gallantly fought their way back into contention with a sensational two-goal blast from Treacy to leave it 2-10 to 2-5 in Tipp’s favour at the break.

"Those goals were a real lifeline for us and steadied the ship after our two calamitous mistakes.

"We were now able to sit the lads down and make them believe in themselves again," said Daly.

But points from Noel McGrath and John O’Brien within the space of a minute after the resumption catapulted Tipperary back into the ascendancy. Once again Dublin had it all to do.

They did so, admirably inspired by a spectacular third goal from Treacy who acrobatically smashed home a sideline cross from Shane Durcan in the 41st minute.

Now in full flight again and displaying superior hurling qualities to their opponents Dublin drew level when Alan McCrabbe pointed from a 30-metre sideline cut in the 45th minute.

James Woodlock restored the lead for Tipp with a point but then David O’Callaghan powered Dublin back in front when he kicked home a pass from Shane Durcan.

"I knew when we went two points down we were really up against it," said Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy.

"This was always going to be a tough game for us, coming on the back of last week’s heavy defeat and the fact that Dublin were oozing with confidence from their recent string of victories.

"But I thought our lads displayed really great battling qualities to come from two points down to win by two points."

In a fabulously hard-fought closing quarter the sides were level again on two occasions.

Then excellent substitute Tony Scroope and Noel McGrath hit two splendid lead points for Tipp but a pointed free from David O’Callaghan kept Dublin’s hopes alive with just the bare minimum between them at the end of normal time.

But a pointed free from Seamus Callanan in additional time sealed victory for a relieved Tipperary side but as manager Sheedy said, "a win is a win and two points are two points particularly at this stage of the competition".

Scorers for Tipperary: S Cannanan 1-4 (0-2f); G Ryan 1-0; N McGrath 0-4; J O’Brien 0-3; S Hennessy 0-3 (0-2f); J Woodlock 0-2; S McGrath, C O’Mahony (65) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: D Treacy 3-2; D O’Callaghan 1-4 (0-2f); A McCrabbe 0-4 (0-3f); S Durkan 0-1.

TIPPERARY: B Cummins, E Buckley, P Curran, C O’Brien, B Maher, C O’Mahony, S Maher, G Ryan, S McGrath, S Hennessy, S Callanan, J Woodlock, N McGrath, M Webster, J O’Brien. Subs. P Maher for Ryan; T Scroope for Hennessy; G Ryan for Maher; L Corbett for Hennessy.

DUBLIN: G Maguire, N Corcoran, T Brady, R Trainor, S Hiney, R Fallon, M Carton, J Boland, J McCaffrey, A McCrabbe, L Ryan, S Durkan, D O’Callaghan, D Treacy, L Rushe. Subs. K Flynn for McCrabbe; D O’Dwyer for Durkan.

Referee: Declan O’Driscoll (Limerick)

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Treacy treble not enough to end Dublin’s 20-year famine against Tipp

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday March 30 2009

TEENAGER David Treacy scored 3-2 for Dublin but was left disappointed as unconvincing Tipperary just did enough to secure a fourth victory from five league outings.

Depleted Tipp dug deep late on at Semple Stadium to see off a strong Dublin challenge to remain in pole position for a place in the final, where All-Ireland champions Kilkenny will be their most likely opponents.

Tipp leaked five goals against Kilkenny at Nowlan Park eight days ago and yesterday their rearguard looked alarmingly porous again as Treacy and David O’Callaghan created endless problems for the full-back line.

Nine goals conceded in two outings is a worrying statistic for manager Liam Sheedy but he preferred to talk up the positives, with 2-19 scored despite the absence of a number of top stars.

Of that total, 2-10 was collected before half-time as Gearóid Ryan goaled fortuitously over the head of Gary Maguire in the 25th minute after Séamus Callanan roared straight through the middle of the Dublin defence 10 minutes earlier. But a brace of goals from Treacy left the visitors 2-10 to 2-5 in arrears at half-time.

Level

Eleven minutes after the restart Dublin had levelled the tie and O’Callaghan’s 51st-minute goal put them 4-9 to 2-13 in front and dreaming of a first competitive victory against Tipp in 20 years.

The sides were level twice more before the finish but the introduction of Tony Scroope proved vital for Tipp as he scored a late point and set up another for five-point hero Noel McGrath.

Dublin, who have Clare and Kilkenny to come, are now unlikely to contest the final and manager Anthony Daly admitted: "We’re awfully disappointed because I thought it was right there for us. I asked them at half-time to bring it to the edge and to be right in there at the bitter end — and they were."

Sheedy said: "After what happened last Sunday some of that lingered in our play. Our backs normally play with great zest and attack the ball but there were a few times when the ball was left hanging around and ended up in the net."

Scorers — Tipperary: S Callanan 1-4 (3f), N McGrath 0-5, G Ryan 1-0, J O’Brien 0-3, J Woodlock, S Hennessy (2f) 0-2 each, C O’Mahony (f), S McGrath, T Scroope 0-1 each. Dublin: D Treacy 3-2, D O’Callaghan 1-4 (2f), A McCrabbe 0-4 (3f, 1 sl), S Durkan 0-1.

TIPPERARY — B Cummins; E Buckley, P Curran, C O’Brien; B Maher, C O’Mahony, S Maher; G Ryan, S McGrath; S Hennessy, S Callanan, J Woodlock; N McGrath, M Webster, J O’Brien. Subs: Patrick Maher for Ryan (46), T Scroope for Hennessy (51), Pádraig Maher for S Maher (57), L Corbett for Webster (y/c 60), B Dunne for Woodlock (66).

DUBLIN — G Maguire; R Trainor, T Brady, N Corcoran; S Hiney, R Fallon, M Carton; J McCaffrey, J Boland; D Treacy, L Ryan, S Durkan; D O’Callaghan, L Rushe, A McCrabbe. Subs: M O’Brien for Trainor (17), K Flynn for McCrabbe (52), G O’Meara for O’Brien (y/c 61), D O’Dwyer for Durkan (68).

REF — D O’Driscoll (Limerick).

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