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Young guns prove to be in Tipp top condition

Dublin produced an encouraging performance to eventually fall by 1-20 to 1-17 in a highly entertaining senior hurling challenge match at Russell Park in Blanchardstown on Saturday evening.

With yesterday's Walsh Cup final in mind, Anthony Daly availed of the opportunity to bring some of the college players back into the panel with Joey Boland, Oisín Gough and Peter Kelly all impressing upon their return to county colours.

Dublin raced into an early 0-6 to 0-2 lead after 10 minutes with Liam Rushe, who starred in St Patrick's Palmerstown U21 semi-final victory earlier in the day, scoring two points with Kelly and Boland also contributing from play.

Tipperary took complete control for the ensuing 12 minutes as they registered 1-7 without reply with Seamus Hennessy and John Devane amongst the point scorers prior to full-forward Micheal Webster plundering a goal from close range.

The remainder of the half was evenly contested with points from David Treacy, Kelly and Paul Ryan helping Dublin regain a foothold in the match but some late frees from Hennessy ensured Tipperary went in at the interval four points (1-11 to 0-10) to the good. With Shane McGrath making an instant impact after his introduction at half-time, Tipperary pushed further ahead through two fine points from another sub, Seamus Callanan but, points from Treacy and Ryan saw The Dubs remain in contention.

Despite substitute keeper Alan Nolan superbly saving a Callanan penalty, the visitors pushed six points clear through points from McGrath, Maher and Devane and although Treacy and substitute Ciaran Brennan tagged on scores for the hosts, they still trailed by five points entering injury time.

Dublin's hopes of sneaking the win were raised briefly when Kelly out-fielded Paul Curran to crash home a superb goal but a well-taken Jody Brennan score confirmed a three-point win for Tipp with both sides happy with a competitive encounter prior to their respective opening NHL matches next weekend.

Scorers -- Tipperary: S Hennessy 0-7 (3f), S Callanan 0-4 (2f), M Webster 1-0, H Maloney, J Devane 0-2, B Dunne, G Ryan, P Kerwick, P Maher, G Brennan 0-1 each. Dublin: P Kelly 1-3, P Ryan 0-5 (5f), D Treacy 0-4, J Boland 0-3, L Rushe, C Brennan 0-1 each.

Tipperary: D Gleeson; C O'Brien, P Curran, D Fitzgerald; B Maher, D Fanning, S Maher; B Dunne, G Ryan; S Hennessy, H Maloney, J Devane; P Kerwick, M Webster, P Maher. Subs: M Heffernan for Kerwick, S Callanan for Webster, P Kelly for Maloney, J Brennan for Hennessy, S McGrath for Devane (all half-time).

Dublin: F McGarry; T Brady, C Hennebry, O Gough; D Byrne, M Carton, D O'Reilly; M May, J Boland; P Kelly, L Rushe, S Durkin; D O'Callaghan, D Treacy, P Ryan. Subs: A McInerney for Rushe (17) A Nolan for McGarry (half-time), C Brennan for O'Callaghan (half-time).