Paul Ryan inspires Dublin to come-from-behind victory over Limerick
DUBLIN 1-17 LIMERICK 1-16
SIGNS of life from Dublin.
A little pulse from a team that looked, not too long ago, to be flatlining.
Indeed, eight points down in the first half tonight in a fraught, tense All-Ireland SHC qualifier with Limerick in Thurles, a search for a blue pulse mightn’t have come up with much.
But Dublin grew.
A Dosty O’Callaghan second half goal. A tour de force from Paul Ryan (0-12, 6f). Danny Sutcliffe relocating his form.
And a compelling demonstration from Liam Rushe as to his best position.
They all conspired to put Dublin through in a breathless finale.
Dublin displayed lots of their insecurities in the first half.
On one side, 1-8 conceded wasn’t a bad tally to concede.
But their use of the ball and their own 0-7 haul wasn’t going to even nearly cut it against a Limerick team still shaky from their own provincial misfortune.
Conal Keaney and Mark Schutte tore Laois’s full-back asunder a week previous but against Seamus Hickey and Richie McCarthy, neither player had nearly the same effect.
Partly, Dublin’s ball in wasn’t particularly measured or inventive but mostly, those two - McCarthy in particular - revelled in a straight-up raffle for ball against their direct men.
With Limerick edging ahead, David Breen rounded Liam Rushe in the 26th minute and buried a shot past Gary Maguire.
At 1-7 to 0-2, Limerick’s day looked pretty straight forward.
Yet Dublin redoubled their efforts around the breaking ball area, dropping both wing-forwards deep and with the recalled Daire Plunkett making occasional spurts in behind Limerick’s cover, Dublin got back into it.
Paul Ryan hit three frees, one of which was bought expertly by substitute, Dosty O’Callaghan. Ryan hit another from play and with Danny Sutcliffe providing a more coherent conversation between Dublin’s defence and attack, Mark Schutte scored a fourth Dublin point on the trot to put Ger Cunningham’s team to within four.
Ryan, however, missed a free on the stroke of half-time.
One that might, had he converted, have laid a little more uncertainty into Limerick’s half-time appraisal of an otherwise dominant effort.
As it happened, the break never stunted Dublin’s momentum.
With Ryan dropping deep, they generated the first four scores of the second half to go level but Limerick hit back with four of their own, from Seánie Tobin.
Only a goal, it seemed, would turn this game Dublin’s way and O’Callaghan, loitering behind a breaking ball, provided it to finally put Dublin one up.
Limerick came back hard but Ryan gave an exhibition of scoring from long range and Rushe, several instances of brutish leadership at the back.
Ryan’s final point put Dublin two up but Tobin ensured a climax and in all the fussing and fumbling of a desperately pressure-filled final passage, Dublin held out for an All-Ireland quarter-final spot.
SCORERS - Dublin: P Ryan 0-12 (6f), D O’Callaghan 1-0, D Plunkett 0-2, R O’Dwyer, M Schutte, C Boland 0-1 each. Limerick: D Hannon 1-2 (0-1f), S Tobin 0-6 (5f), S Dowling 0-4 (2 ‘65, 2f) G Mulcahy 0-2, P O’Brien, K Downes.
DUBLIN: G Maguire; P Schutte, C Crummey, S Barrett; S Durkin, L Rushe, N Corcoran; D Plunkett, J McCaffrey; E Dillon, R O’Dwyer, D Sutcliffe; P Ryan, C Keaney, M Schutte. Subs: D O’Callaghan for Dillon (29), J Boland for Corcoran (50), C Boland for Keaney (58), D Treacy for M Schutte (65 inj)
LIMERICK: N Quaid; S O’Brien, R McCarthy, S Hickey; P O’Brien, G O’Mahony, W McNamara; J Ryan, P Browne; G Mulcahy, D Breen, C Lynch; S Dowling, K Downes, D Hannon. Subs: D Morrissey for McNamara (43), S Tobin for Dowling (43), D O’Grady for Breen (55), D Reify for Hannon (65), C King for Browne (69)
REF: C McAllister (Cork)