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Dublin hurlers face defeat

Dublin’s recent 15-point defeat to Tipperary in the penultimate round of the Allianz Hurling League has shown the gulf in class between Anthony Daly’s side and the top contenders for this year’s championship.

In a performance which highlighted Tipp’s impressive scoring power, the Dubs were outclassed from the outset, trailing 3-11 to 0-8 at half time. The Premier County finished the game with 4-20 on the scoreboard, compared to Dublin’s 17 points, seeing them through to the final of this year’s League.

Tipp effectively walked through weak Dublin defending, while they dominated the midfield and showed resilience in defence, neutralising every one of Dublin’s few goal-scoring opportunities. Three early goals from Eamon O’Shea’s men ended the game as a contest, even in the early stages. Excluding a brief purple patch in the second half, Dublin never seemed likely to get back into the game.

Questions must now be asked over the manner in which Dublin stood back and were overwhelmed; something which cannot continue if they are to compete against Tipperary and Killkenny in the future.

According to many, including manager Anthony Daly, it is a fair reflection of the gap between the two strands of Division 1 hurling, with Tipp and Dublin fresh from campaigns in 1A and 1B respectively.

This is a gap which needs to be closed and after a promising league campaign, Daly’s forces must now retreat to the drawing board as the onset of the championship looms. They finished top of Division 1B and secured promotion to the top tier, but judging by the Tipperary result, this promotion itself poses many challenges for Dublin hurling.

It would be foolish to write off any team’s prospects so soon based on one performance. Dublin have played well at times this year, but some changes may be necessary and inevitable.

Photograph by wfbakker2 via flickr

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