Wednesday 7 December 2016

NHL Round-up: Dublin stun Waterford while Tipp and Galway shared the spoils in thriller

Sean McGoldrick

Published 13/03/2016 | 16:12

13 March 2016; Austin Gleeson, Waterford, in action against Eoghan O'Donnell and Shane Barrett, Dublin. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1A, Round 4, Waterford v Dublin. Walsh Park, Waterford. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
13 March 2016; Austin Gleeson, Waterford, in action against Eoghan O'Donnell and Shane Barrett, Dublin. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1A, Round 4, Waterford v Dublin. Walsh Park, Waterford. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
13 March 2016; Shane Bennett, Waterford, in action against Liam Rushe and Cian O'Callaghan, Dublin. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1A, Round 4, Waterford v Dublin. Walsh Park, Waterford. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
13 March 2016; Davy Glennon, Galway, in action against Michael Breen, Tipperary. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1A, Round 4, Galway v Tipperary. Pearse Stadium, Galway. Picture credit: Ray Ryan / SPORTSFILE
13 March 2016; Darren Gleeson, Tipperary, checks on Joe Canning, Galway, after he picked up an injury. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1A, Round 4, Galway v Tipperary. Pearse Stadium, Galway. Picture credit: Ray Ryan / SPORTSFILE

Dublin hurlers sensationally ended Waterford's two season unbeaten record in the League when in a goalless encounter at Walsh Park Ger Cunningham's side won comfortably to secure their status in the top flight and claim a place in the quarter finals of the competition.

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A dominant performance from the visitors in the second half when they outscored the defending League champions 12-6 laid the foundation for their excellent wind.

Coincidentally it was Dublin who inflicted the last league defeat on the Deise at Walsh Park in March 2014 but the fact that Derek McGrath's side were assured of a place in the quarter finals regardless of this result might have influenced their attitude to the contest.

Waterford were quick out of the block in front of their own fans at Walsh Park hitting the first three points but Dublin then took control and dominated the scoring during the next quarter hitting six unanswered points to lead 0-7 to 0-5.

But Waterford, who are unbeaten in 11 league ties over two seasons, came back with two monster points from Austin Gleeson to retain the lead and they were a point ahead at the break (0-8; 0-7).

There was nothing to separate the sides in the third quarter as the sides again swapped the lead but then Dublin took over and a string of unanswered points put them in the driving seat and they were comfortable winners in the end.

There was high drama at Pearse Stadium when a briliant point from John O'Dwyer in the fourth minute of injury time rescued a point for Tipperary. Man of the Match Joe Canning looked to have given the home side a crucial win with a brilliantly converted sideline in the 73rd minute but they would hold on to their slender lead.

The result means that neither side have secured their place in the top flight - they are locked together on five points each in the table - and everything now hinges on next Sunday's final round of games.

Tipperary are at home to Cork who will play in the relegation final while Galway face Waterford away. The odds favour Tipp as they have a + 8 scoring difference while Galway's scoring difference is -5.

Tipperary raced into an early five point advantage with Niall O'Meara hitting a second minute goal at Pearse Stadium. Even though the visitors were without Seamus Callinan, John O'Dwyer and Jason Forde they continued to dominate leading 1-9 to 0-5 after 29 minutes.

Joe Canning needed prolonged treatment after he collided with goalkeeper Darren Gleeson but he was fit to continue and he hauled his team back into contention two minutes into injury time with a smashing goal. He added a free to leave Tipp just a point ahead at the break (1-10; 1-9).

O'Dwyer was introduced at the start of the second half but Galway drew first blood with a point free from Canning to level the tie.

It got even better for the home side when seven minutes into a second half Iarla Tannian – now operating at centre forward – drove the sliotar to the Tipp net though Darran Gleeson will be disappointed that he didn't stop his effort. There was nothing between the sides during the rest of an enthralling encounter.

But Galway's inability to protect a two point lead in injury time despite Canning's epic sideline may well force them into a relegation play off against Cork. But regardless of how next Sunday's final round of fixtures pan out Dublin, Waterford and All-Ireland champions, Killkenny are through to the last eight.

As expected Clare proved much too strong for Kerry in Cusack Park and the scene is now set for their showdown against Limerick, the other unbeaten team in Division 1B next Sunday in Cusack Park with the winner virtually assured of promotion to the top flight.

Interestingly Podge Collins came off the bench to make his first appearance for Clare since 2014.

Offaly proved too strong for Wexford a result which leaves Liam Dunne's side in relegation trouble in Division 1B

Wexford made a dream start in front of their own supporters with goals from Conor McDonald (penalty) and Aidan Nolan but once visitors Offaly settled down they took complete control of the other tie

Goal and Paddy Murphy and Joe Bergin – the latter coming three minutes into injury time at the end of the first half – helped the maintain county turn a six point deficit into an eight point lead (2-12; 2-4) at the break.

Offaly stayed in control in the second half before a second penalty goal from McDonald brought Wexford back in contention but then they were reduced to 14 men when Liam Ryan picked up a second yellow card and the visitors ran out comfortable winners by eight points.

The results means that Wexford need to beat Laois in Portlaoise next Sunday and hope that Offaly beat Kerry in order to secure their place in Division 1B next season and a place in the quarter finals.

Wins for Wexford and Offaly will means that Laois and Kerry face each other in the relegation final.

In the key match in Division 2A 14 man Antrim - Ciaran Johnston received a straight red card - were struggling at half time in Ballycastle trailing Carlow 1-12 to 0-6. Even though the home side improved marginally in the second half Carlow held out to win by six points.

The result puts Carlow back in the promotion hunt whereas Antrim – after their second successive loss – are now virtually out of contention for a quick return to top flight hurling.

 

Allianz HL Division 1A

Dublin 0-19, Waterford 0-14

Galway 2-19 Tipperary 1-22

 

Allianz HL Division 1B

Offaly 2-22; Wexford 3-11

Clare 2-28 Kerry 1-9

 

Allianz HL Division 2A

London 0-16; Derry 0-13

Carlow 1-17; Antrim 1-11

 

Allianz HL Division 2B

Armagh 0-15 Meath 0-7,

Wicklow 2-13; Mayo 0-13

Down 3-22; Donegal 0-14

 

Allianz HL Division 3A

Monaghan 2-10; Fingal 1-12

Louth 2-14 Tyrone 1-15

 

Allianz HL Division 3B

Leitrim 3-15; Sligo 2-13

Fermanagh 3-17 Longford 3-13

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