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Senior Hurlers Fall To Defeat To Limerick At Croke Park

Senior Hurlers Fall To Defeat To Limerick At Croke Park

Sat, 24th February 2024

Image courtesy Niall O'Connell 

DUBLIN 1-18 


All-Ireland holders Limerick got the better of Dublin by eighteen points in their Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B Round 3 clash at Croke Park on Saturday afternoon.

After a loss to Tipperary and a narrow win over Antrim in the opening two rounds, the Dubs entered their first encounter of the year in headquarters buoyed by the return to the starting line-up on both Donal Burke and Chris Crummey.

However, the concession of a goal inside twenty seconds dampened the mood somewhat as the hosts entered the break trailing by 2-13 to 0-11 with Tom Morrissey’s 30th minute goal stalling some genuine Dublin momentum.

The second-half failed to ignite truly with Sean Currie’s 41st minute goal an isolated moment of positivity as Dublin had to concede second best to an impressive Limerick outfit.

Dublin could not have wished for a more disheartening start as Gearóid Hegarty raced through the middle before releasing Donnacha Ó Dálaigh for an emphatic finish across Seán Brennan from ten yards.

The hosts replied in an instant through an excellent point by Conor Burke but an initially dominant Limerick moved five points clear by the 5th minute thanks to scores from Adam English, Shane O’Brien and Morrissey.

The Dubs were in need of some encouragement at this stage and it duly arrived following cracking points in succession by Danny Sutcliffe and Ronan Hayes.

Hegarty and Donal Burke traded points as the first quarter evolved with Dublin spurning a golden chance to narrow the margin in the 14th minute as Cian O’Sullivan blazed over the crossbar after a quick pass from Brian Hayes.

However, with their opponents proving erratic at times in front of goal, Dublin continued to stay in the hunt as Sutcliffe and Conor Donohoe clipper over fine scores to leave just three points between the sides entering the second quarter.

The scoring dried up from a Dublin perspective from that point with three placed balls from Donal Burke and Conor Burke’s second point of the half their limited impressions on the scoreboard, despite an improved showing in general play.

Admittedly, Sean Currie was denied by Nickie Quaid in the 20th minute and O’Sullivan went close once again but a defensive error in the 30th minute stalled their incremental progress with Hegarty provider once again as Morrissey swept home off the upright.

Limerick gathered huge momentum from that score with Cathal O’Neill adding two long-range points in the ensuing five minutes to leave his side eight points to the good at the interval.

Hegarty added a brace of points within two minutes of the restart to keep his side in control and Ó Dálaigh’s second goal of the night in the 39th minute saw Limerick pull further clear.

However, the Dubs ended a barren period of thirteen minutes with a goal of their own as Currie left Quaid helpless on this occasion with a low strike following an incisive run and pass by Conor Burke.

Donal Burke and O’Sullivan added to the Dublin tally as the contest became increasingly sloppy with substitute Diarmuid Ó Dúlaing also on target after a sharp turn close to goal.

These scores were just reward for Dublin’s perseverance but Limerick casually regained their marksmanship with substitute Micheál Houlihan, Morrissey and English adding scoring two points apiece towards the end.

Scorers – Dublin: D Burke (4f, 1 ‘65’), C O’Sullivan (3f) 0-5 each, S Currie 1-0, D Sutcliffe 0-3, C Burke 0-2, C Donohoe, R Hayes, D Ó Dúlaing 0-1 apiece. Limerick: A English 0-8 (3f), D Ó Dálaigh 2-1, T Morrissey 1-4, G Hegarty 0-5, C O’Neill 0-4, M Houlihan, D Byrnes (1f) 0-2 each, K Hayes, F O’Connor, S O’Brien, B Murphy 0-1 apiece.

Dublin: S Brennan; J Madden, P Smyth, J Bellew; D Gray, C Crummey, C Donohoe; C Burke, S Gallagher; R Hayes, D Burke, B Hayes; D Sutcliffe, C O’Sullivan, S Currie. Subs: D Ó Dúlaing for B Hayes (49), D Power for Gallagher (52), P Crummey for D Burke (53), J Malone for Currie (65), D Leavy for R Hayes (65).

Limerick: N Quaid; F O’Connor, M Casey, B Nash; D Byrnes, C O’Neill, K Hayes; W O’Donoghue, D O’Donovan; G Hegarty, T Morrissey, C Boylan; A English, S O’Brien, D Ó Dálaigh. Subs: O O’Reilly for English (Blood Dub, 33-36), S Flanagan for O’Brien (43), M Houlihan for Boylan (57), D Morrissey for Casey (57), B Murphy for O’Donoghue (57), A Costello for Nash (66).

Referee: Kevin Jordan (Tipperary).

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