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Masterful Kilkenny serve up a deadly reminder of quality to Dublin

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Not for the first time, Kilkenny ruined Dublin’s designs at the Championship and overwhelmed Mattie Kenny’s side on a fine summer’s evening at Parnell Park.

Selling out the small ground in anticipation of close competition, Dublin started the day unbeaten and led the group. But after an exciting and competitive first half, they were totally mastered from there to the end.

Kilkenny suffered from a narrow defeat at Salthill and while it’s nothing new they meet every challenge with determination, their game after half-time was genuinely toxic and purposeful.

After being led by a Mossy Keoghan at the break, they won the second half 2-14, 0-6. That spoke volumes for their superiority.

With Wexford losing a point to Westmeath, only the Galway hurlers are guaranteed to survive beyond the group stage.

But Dublin travel to Salthill next Saturday and face the tough task of collecting spirits after that emphatic defeat. Kilkenny host Wexford on the same day and are looking good to reach the Leinster Final and stay on course to claim a third straight provincial win.

Keoghan was one of four late changes to her team and all thrived. The Tullaroan man justified his shot 2-1, his first goal coming in the 28th minute when the sides were tied after sharing 18 points.

They had been level on six occasions in a fast-paced match of hard and unflinching hits, with Padraig Walsh receiving a yellow card just before half-time.

Keoghan won a superbly flying delivery from Adrian Mullen and sent his shot past Sean Brennan for his first goal.

Dublin rallied with points from Donal Burke and Rian McBride, but Kilkenny ended the half with points from Alan Murphy and Keoghan to lead 1-11, 0-11.

It could have been more, but for seven wides and a try that fell short, there was no sign the Dublin collapse would follow.

Conor Burke and Chris Crummey provided three of Dublin’s 11 first-half points and Daire Gray produced an inspiring result, as did Fergal Whitely, but they ominously failed to pose a goal threat as Ronan Hayes failed to make much of an impact and often drifted off the field.

Aidan Mellet was substituted before half-time, with Mark Schutte coming on to add more muscle. Burke had five of his points, two from the game.

From there, Kilkenny stormed clear. In the first half, another of their late signings, Cian Kenny, scored three points by playing on the inside line and soon after the break he increased his total to four.

The move caught Dublin completely off guard but the goals were the real difference in their timing and filled Kilkenny with more confidence.

At one point, TJ Reid had a daring-range shot on goal that smacked of hubris, but until then he could afford the indulgence while his team idled. He finished the match 1-7, four points from Frees.

Dublin got lost in the snowstorm. In the second half, McBride forced a save from Eoin Murphy while James Madden fired a low shot over the goal, but they were unable to advance against an excellent Kilkenny defense as they missed Huw Lawlor injured.

Conor Delaney came in and kept a tight grip on Hayes while Mikey Butler delivered a fabulous match and Tommy Walsh also ruthlessly parried Dublin’s attack.

Five points down at the start of the second half, two goals from Donal Burke left Dublin down to one after 11 minutes.

But a minute later Keoghan scored his second goal after initial work from TJ Reid, Keoghan spinning and firing deep into the net from around 20 yards.

In the 54th minute, Reid scored his third goal, Dublin’s defense couldn’t follow his run and the rest was a painful wait for the home fans to blow the whistle.

Alan Murphy and Richie Reid were also recalled to the starting team, and Murphy capitalized on his opportunity, scoring three points in the first half and putting in a big work shift.

Alongside him, Adrian Mullen returned to his old form which will give Kilkenny, the Ballyale man who scored five points from play, much encouragement with some exemplary strikes from distance.

Of concern to Wexford was that Eoin Cody had a relatively quiet evening, only reporting nearly an hour into the game. Walter Walsh was substituted at half-time and Padraig Walsh followed him in the 48th minute.

Dublin’s best hurling came in the first half as Conor Burke played well and contributed two points as they faced their rivals who last beat them in the Championship in 2013.

When these counties met in the league, Kilkenny inflicted one of those defeats on Dublin that made it an affront to consider the outcome could have been different.

But Dublin came with hopes of making a mark and in the fourth year of Mattie Kenny’s reign there was a feeling they might.

There was certainly a feeling that they had to do it. They’re down, but they’re not out. Kilkenny are back on track after excitement over defeat in Galway.

Goalscorers — Kilkenny: TJ Reid 1-7 (5f); M Keoghan 2-1; A Mullen 0-5; C Kenny 0-4; A Murphy 0-3; E Cody 0-2; B Ryan, J Donnelly, C Buckley each 0-1. Dublin: Burke D. 0-9 (7f); C Burke 0-2; F Whitely, R McBride, C Crummey, D Gray, M Schutte, E Dillon 0-1 each.

Kilkenny: E Murphy; M Butler, C Delaney, T Walsh; M Carey, R Reid, P Deegan; A Mullen, a Murphy; W Walsh, TJ Reid, P Walsh; Kenny C, Keoghan M, Cody E. Substitute: J Donnelly for W Walsh (ht); B. Ryan for P. Walsh (48); C Fogarty for A Murphy (59); C. Buckley for Mullen (65); D Blanchfield for Butler (67).

Dublin: S Brennan; J Madden, E O’Donnell, C O’Callaghan; D Ryan, P Smyth, D Gray; C Burke, C Crommey; Sutcliffe D, McBride R, Burke D; F Whitely, R Hayes, A Mellett. Substitute: M Schutte for Mellett (32); E Dillon for Hayes (55); A Dunphy for Gray (59); J Bellew for O’Donnell (63); D Keogh for McBride (65).

Referee: T Walsh (Waterford)

https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/hurling/masterful-kilkenny-serve-dublin-a-lethal-reminder-of-quality-41650308.html Masterful Kilkenny serve up a deadly reminder of quality to Dublin

Fry Electronics Team

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