Sunday 21 January 2018

Forde focus ensures win for new boss Ryan

Tipperary 1-23 Dublin 0-12

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan. Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile
Tipperary manager Michael Ryan. Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile
Tipperary forwards Conor Kenny and Noel McGrath. Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

Michael Ryan's competitive tenure as Tipperary's new senior hurling manager got off to the ideal start in chilly Thurles last night.

The Premier County whipped Dublin by 14 points to kick-start their 2016 campaign following a series of facile victories in pre-season challenge outings.

Tipp decided not to play in the pre-season Munster senior hurling league but didn't look ring-rusty as they put the Dubs to the sword in front of 5,105 spectators. Tipp looked far better than Walsh Cup champions Dublin on the night and this game was essentially done and dusted by half-time.

Tipp led by 1-9 to 0-3 at the break and were value for that nine-point advantage.

The Premier County had registered ten wides within half an hour while Dublin spoiled some of their best approach work by dropping a few efforts short, with Paul Ryan also sending two scoreable frees wide.

It was a low-key opening half, with a breeze blowing towards the Killinan End favouring Tipperary.

Home supporters were eager to get a glimpse of Tipp's new approach and the game-plan was very much direct hurling from the start.

Players were obviously encouraged to shoot from distance whenever the opportunity arose but Tipp had that big numbers of wides racked up the interval.

Ryan handed debuts to Daire Quinn and Dan McCormack on a night when he wanted his charges to get off to a good League start.

Tipp have been notoriously slow starters in this competition in recent years and on the opening day in 2015, they suffered a big defeat to Dublin at Parnell Park. But Tipp signalled their intent early as John McGrath forced Conor Dooley, making his first full League start, into a sharp save with just 21 seconds on the watch.

Conor Kenny, sited at full-forward in the absence of injured Seamus Callanan, posted the opening score of the game and while Dublin levelled it up with a Paul Ryan free, the hosts took over from there.

By the 13th minute, they were 1-2 to 0-1 clear, top scorer Jason Forde hitting 1-1 to establish that lead.

The goal came when the Silvermines forward broke onto loose ball and crashed home a low drive.

Scorers - Tipperary: J Forde 1-5, J McGrath 0-7 (5f), C Kenny & J O'Dwyer 0-3 each, Pádraic Maher & N McGrath 0-2 each, D Fitzelle 0-1 each. Dublin: D Treacy 0-3f, N McMorrow 0-2, D Plunkett, E Dillon, D O'Callaghan, P Ryan (f), M Schutte, D O'Connell & C Cronin 0-1 each.

Tipperary: D Gleeson; C Barrett, T Hamill, M Cahill; B Maher, J Barry, Pádraic Maher; M Breen, D Quinn; D McCormack, Patrick Maher, J Forde; N McGrath, C Kenny, J McGrath. Subs: D Fitzelle for Patrick Maher (47), J Gallagher for Breen (58), J O'Dwyer for McCormack (58), J Meagher for B Maher (66), L Ryan for Quinn (67).

Dublin: C Dooley; J Boland, E O'Donnell, O Gough; C O'Callaghan, C Crummy, S Barrett; N McMorrow, J McCaffrey; D Plunkett, E Dillon, D Treacy; D O'Callaghan, P Ryan, M Schutte. Subs: C Cronin for Ryan (h-t), D O'Connell for Plunkett (48), O O'Rorke for O'Callaghan (59), F McGibb for McCaffrey (63)

Referee: C Lyons (Cork)

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