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Tuesday 19 February 2019

Offaly one-sided as Dubs win

GAA Allianz National Hurling League Div 1B: Dublin 2-19 Offaly 0-12

Mattie Kenny's Dublin maintained their 100% Allianz Hurling League start while inflicting further pain on Offaly at O'Connor Park last Saturday.

The visitors led by eight at the break, and despite a battling third quarter from Kevin Martin's men the Dubs ultimately eased to the most routine of 13-point victories.

Any solace for the faltering Faithful? They more than halved the calamitous 27-point margin of defeat shipped to Waterford a week earlier.

In truth, this Division 1B clash was one of the more straight-forward contests to second-guess in advance, with Offaly depleted of bodies and denuded of confidence after their Thurles trimming.

The hosts fought manfully through the first half in Tullamore, but the gulf in class was evident from the off. On paper, Dublin looked relatively close to whatever championship team Kenny unveils in May and, by 18 minutes in, they already led by 1-4 to 0-2.

Donal Burke and Oisín O'Rorke were the star turns in attack for Dublin: the former finished with 0-6 from play, while O'Rorke showed his poacher's instincts with 2-3.

It wasn't all about scoring for Burke as he also provided the assist for O'Rorke's 11th-minute goal. Burke appeared to be bottled up after a goal-bound run hit traffic, but he managed to pick out the unmarked O'Rorke, who cut back and drilled a low shot inside the left-hand post.

Dublin were six up when O'Rorke outfoxed Tom Spain on the turn and was hauled down for a penalty on the half-hour. Yet, for once, Seán Moran failed to get the cleanest of strikes and Eoghan Cahill saved his low effort. Adding insult to injury, Moran was booked within a minute for a high tackle, having been caught upfield.

In first-half injury time Dublin stretched their lead back out to eight (1-10 to 0-5) with points from David Treacy and O'Rorke before the half-time bell.

Offaly began the second half brightly with four of the first five points, including a hat-trick of long-range frees from keeper Eoghan Cahill.

But their mini-comeback was stalled by O'Rorke's second goal in the 46th minute, again finished with precision after some defence-shredding approach play by substitutes Fiontán McGibb and Jake Malone.

DUBLIN: A Nolan; C O'Callaghan, E O'Donnell, P Smyth; C Crummey, S Moran 0-1, S Barrett; S Treacy, D O'Connell; D Treacy 0-2 (1f), D Sutcliffe 0-1, R McBride; D Burke 0-6, L Rushe 0-1, O O'Rorke 2-3. Subs: E Dillon for Rushe (inj 26), J Malone for S Treacy (27), F McGibb for Barrett (ht), J Hetherton 0-3 (2f) for D Treacy (41), F Whitely 0-2 for McBride (57).

Fingal Independent

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