Cats reign supreme as Dubs see red: Dublin v Kilkenny

The stands were full in Parnell Park on Sunday, as Ger Cunningham’s young Dublin side looked to avoid a relegation playoff by beating Brian Cody’s Kilkenny team.

Sadly for Dublin, Kilkenny’s greater experience and most of all their numerical advantage was too much to overcome, as the Cats romped home to a seven-point victory.

The opening exchanges were very competitive as both teams swapped points, before Kilkenny’s Conor Martin rattled the Dublin net, after a pinpoint pass from the marauding Colin Fennelly.

To Ger Cunningham’s credit, Dublin didn’t panic, corner-forward Donal Burke added scores from frees and from play, while wing-back Chris Crummey chipped in with two points from play.

Kilkenny, despite playing well within themselves, showed why they are still the old masters. They have the ability to find their key scores when the need to, and this was ultimately the winning of the game for the black and amber.

Dublin overcome 14-man Kilkenny in a physical bout at Parnell Park //Paul Hyland

Kilkenny overcome 14-man Dublin in a very physical contest at Parnell Park //Paul Hyland


No move exemplified Kilkenny’s creative and ruthless strike more than their second goal. A puck-out from Eoin Murphy was won by Conor Martin, who off-loaded it quickly to TJ Reid, he found Walter Walsh in space, Walsh hand passed the ball first time to Liam Blanchfield, who blasted past Dublin goalkeeper, Gary Maguire, but not before Maguire pulled viciously across the Bennettsbridge man.

It was a moment of naivety and vicious temperament by the experienced Dublin goalkeeper. Referee Paud O’Dwyer wasted no time in showing him a straight red card; that will rule him out of next weekend’s relegation playoff.

The sending off of Maguire buried Dublin’s hope. Kilkenny started the second half brightly, with Liam Blanchfield scoring straight from the throw-in.

Dublin’s desire could not be questioned, in particular, that of Donal Burke. The Na Fianna clubman finished the day with 1-7; including 1-2 from play. His goal came at the start of the second half and was the highlight of Dublin’s short-lived comeback.

For the last 20 minutes, Kilkenny began to flex their muscles. TJ Reid put over a long-range free from his own 65-yard line, in front of the large Kilkenny travelling support, while Conor Martin found plenty of space to execute some excellent points. Martin finished the day with 1-5 five from play, in a performance that will surely impress Brian Cody.

The win was enough to secure Kilkenny’s home quarter-final against Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford, in Nolan Park, next weekend.

Dublin travels to Cusack Park, Ennis, next weekend for their relegation play-off with Clare. They can take a lot of heart from yesterday’s performance and their league campaign as a whole. But they will need to up their performance another gear to have any hope of beating Clare.

Throw-in for the relegation playoff is 4 pm, 2nd April, Cusack Park, Ennis.


Dublin scorers: Donal Burke 1-9 (0-7 frees), Chris Crummey 0-3, Ben Quinn, Ryan O’Dwyer, Cian Boland and Niall McMorrow 0-1 each.

Kilkenny scorers: TJ Reid 0-10 (0-6 frees), Conor Martin 1-5, Liam Blanchfield 1-2, Conor Fogarty, Walter Walsh and Richie Hogan 0-1 each.


  1. Gary Maguire (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
  2. Fionn Ó Riain Broin (St Judes)
    3. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille)
    4. Shane Barrett (Na Fianna)
  3. Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields)
    6. Liam Rushe (St Patrick’s Palmerstown)
    2. Cian MacGabhann (Kilmacud Crokes)
  4. Ben Quinn (Crumlin)
    8. Domhnall Fox (St Jude’s)
  5. Eoghan Conroy (St Maur)
    11. Niall McMorrow (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
    14. Ryan O’Dwyer (Kilmacud Crokes)
  6. Eamon Dillon (Naomh Fionnbarra)
    24. Donal Burke (Na Fianna)
    13. Cian Boland  (St Oliver Plunketts)


  1. Conor Dooley for Conroy (31)
    12. Fiontan McGibb for Fox (ht)
    Rian McBride for MacGabhann (52)
    Cian O’Sullivan for Boland (58)
    Fergal Whiteley for Fox (65)

Yellow: Ryan O’Dwyer
Red: Gary Maguire


  1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)
  2. Paul Murphy (Danesfort)
    3. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
    4. Conor O’Shea (Clara)
  3. Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own)
    6. Jason Cleere (Bennettsbridge)
    7. Shane Prendergast (Clara)
  4. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
    9. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro)
  5. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
    11. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)
    12. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
  6. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
    14. Richie Hogan (Danesfort)
    15. Conor Martin (Emeralds)


  1. Pat Lyng for Fennelly (blood sub, 16 to 25)
    17. Joey Holden for P Walsh (ht)
    Kieran Joyce for O’Shea (61)

Yellow: Conor Martin

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

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