Dublin 1-15 Limerick 1-21

Updated: Saturday, 16 Mar 2013 20:13 | Comments

Dublin dual star Conal Keaney goes past Seamus Hickey of Limerick
Dublin dual star Conal Keaney goes past Seamus Hickey of Limerick

Limerick remain unbeaten in the NHL Allianz Division 1B after beating Dublin 1-21 to 1-15 at Croke Park.

Dublin went six clear with two points each from Joey Boland and Paul Ryan, but Limerick fought back with scores from Declan Hannon and Kevin Downes. At the break, the Dubs led by 0-8 to 0-7, and then grabbed a goal through Conor McCormack.

But following the dismissal of Paul Ryan, Dublin faded, and Limerick, with a Graeme Mulcahy goal and a nine points tally from Hannon, cruised to victory.

Dublin crafted three genuine goal chances in a dominant opening 15 minutes.

Joey Boland smashed his shot wide, while Conor McCormack sent a low effort zipping past the far post, before David O’Callaghan brought an excellent save from Nicky Quaid.

For all their territorial supremacy and monopoly of possession, they managed just two points in that period, Boland and Paul Ryan hitting the target to ease the pain from a rash of wides.

Limerick full-back Richie McCarthy made a couple of crucial interventions as his side was forced to soak up sustained pressure from the lively Dubs.

When goalkeeper Alan Nolan blasted over a huge free from 100 metres, the home side led by four.

But the Munster men had their own spell early in the second quarter, and Nolan had to be at his best to keep out a Shane Dowling effort.

Kevin Downes slotted over a point, but Dublin reacted, and points from Danny Sutcliffe and John McCaffrey pushed them six clear.

But the final six minuets of the half witnessed a remarkable Treaty revival, five quality points on the trot reining in their opponents in double quick time.

Declan Hannon converted a couple of frees and there were inspiring scores from Kevin Downes and Paul Browne as they trimmed back the deficit to a single point, 0-08 to 0-07, at the break.

Conal Keaney became the sixth Dublin attacker to score, but they couldn’t shake the Limerick men, as Graeme Mulcahy responded at the other end.

That was until the Leinster side did make a vital breakthrough with a 39th-minute goal, when Conor McCormack’s shot beat Quaid.

McCarthy made a heroic effort to keep it out, but an umpire adjudged the ball to have crossed the line before his last gasp clearance.

The game’s turning point came in the 50th minute when Dublin corner forward Ryan received a straight red card.

Limerick had already trimmed back the deficit to two points, but they hit the front for the first time six minutes later when Mulcahy crashed home a goal.

The superb Hannon continued to hit the target with remarkable accuracy and consistency from frees and play, and Downes and Browne also chipped in with points.

Dublin couldn’t find a way to turn the tide, although they did pull back scores through Nolan, Boland and Sutcliffe.

McCarthy was superb at the back for a Limerick side that finished with confidence and reached out for victory with a ninth point from Hannon.

Dublin: A Nolan (0-2, 2f) P Schutte, R Trainor, M Carton, L Rushe, S Lambert, J Boland (0-3), K Byrne, C Keaney (0-1), J McCaffrey (0-1), D Sutcliffe (0-2), P Ryan (0-3, 1f), C McCormack (1-1), D O’Callaghan (0-1).

Subs: J Doughan for Schutte (46), S Durkin for Byrne (49), D Treacy for McCaffrey (57), E Dillon for O’Callaghan (60), S McGrath for McCormack (69)

Limerick: N Quaid, S Walsh, R McCarthy, T Condon, P O’Brien (0-1), W McNamara, G O’Mahony, P Browne (0-2), J Ryan, D Hannon (0-9, 5f), S Hickey, D Breen, K Downes (0-4), S Dowling, G Mulcahy (1-3).

Subs: N Moran (0-2) for Dowling (h-t), C Allis for Hickey (68), S Tobin for Mulcahy (70), C King for Ryan (71)

Referee: J Owens (Wexford).

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