Allianz HL D1B: Dublin too good for Offaly
Allianz Hurling League Division 1B
DUBLIN 2-19 OFFALY 0-12
By Kevin Egan at Bord na Móna O'Connor Park
Offaly’s disappointing start to the season continued in Tullamore this afternoon as they were easily brushed aside by a Dublin side that looked far more powerful in all sectors of the field, with Oisín O’Rorke and Donal Burke scoring freely from each corner, combining to post 2-9 from play between them.
O’Rorke will capture a lot of the headlines with two goals, one in each half, but it was the sharpness of DCU student Donal Burke that arguably caught the eye even more for the small number of supporters that travelled to Bord na Móna O’Connor Park. On a day when both sides were guilty of some erratic shooting, failing to make the most of their chances for long spells, Burke led the way with a wonderful display of point taking; not to mention playing a key role in setting up O’Rorke’s opening goal after 11 minutes.
Up to that point Offaly were well in contention with the game tied at 0-2 each, though four early wides from Dublin illustrated how the home side were taking on water in several sectors. Danny Sutcliffe made a number of promising runs and Liam Rushe got out on front of Niall Houlihan for a good score, though the performance of the Tullamore club man at full back will be one of very few bright spots for Kevin Martin when he pores over this game during the week.
Seven first half wides for the Faithful men – five of them missed at the near post – meant that Dublin led comfortably at the break, 1-10 to 0-5. Burke shot four of those, while Offaly also had goalkeeper Eoghan Cahill to thank for the single-figure deficit after he saved a penalty from Seán Moran, awarded for a foul by Tom Spain on O’Rorke.
The home side rallied at the start of the second half and a quick-fire point from Paddy Murphy, followed up with two long-range frees from Cahill, threatened to make a contest of it. Dublin manager Mattie Kenny needed his bench to come in and shore things up and he got vital contributions from John Hetherton and Fergal Whitely, who shared five points between them after their introduction.
Fiontán McGibb didn’t get on the scoresheet but he did make a blistering run through the heart of the defence to help set up O’Rorke for the second goal of the game, and from then on it was a simply a matter of Dublin keeping the visitors at arm’s length, with the sides trading scores through most of the second half.
The seven-point gap was maintained up until the closing minutes when Whitely, Hetherton, Burke and Sutcliffe added late points to stretch out the gap, with Oisín Kelly rattling the crossbar for Offaly on the last attack, ensuring that they continue to be the joint lowest scorers in the country across all divisions, alongside Monaghan in Division 3A.
Scorers for Dublin: Oisín O’Rorke 2-3, Donal Burke 0-6, John Hetherton 0-3 (0-2f), David Treacy (0-1f) & Fergal Whitely 0-2 each, Liam Rushe, Sean Moran & Danny Sutcliffe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Offaly: Eoghan Cahill & Kevin Connolly 0-3f each, Paddy Murphy 0-2, Oisín Kelly, Colm Gath, Damien Egan, Kevin Dunne 0-1 each.
Dublin: Alan Nolan; Cian O’Callaghan, Eoghan O’Donnell, Paddy Smyth; Chris Crummey, Seán Moran, Shane Barrett; Seán Treacy, Darragh O’Connell; David Treacy. Danny Sutcliffe, Rian McBride; Donal Burke, Liam Rushe, Oisín O’Rorke. Subs: Eamon Dillon for Rushe (26), Jake Malone for Seán Treacy (27), Fiontán McGibb for Barrett (HT), John Hetherton for David Treacy, Fergal Whitely for McBride (57)
Offaly: Eoghan Cahill; Tom Spain, Niall Houlihan, Paddy Rigney; Aidan Treacy, Enda Grogan, Craig Taylor; Kevin Dunne, Mark Egan; Damien Egan, Paddy Murphy, Colin Egan; Colm Gath, Oisín Kelly, Kevin Connolly. Subs: Andy Flynn for Taylor (35), Liam Langton for Mark Egan (half time), Seán Dolan for Gath (50), Eoghan Parlon for Murphy (60)
Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)