Allianz Hurling League Review

Croke Park

Pat Gilroy’s new Dublin hurling squad started the league with a disappointing defeat to Offaly in Croke Park. The visitors led by five points at half-time and secured their first win in a competitive match at Croke Park since 2005.

Nine players, Bill O’Carroll, Cian Hendricken, Cian McBride, Tomás Connolly, Fergal Whitely, Ronan Smith, Alan Moore, Paul Winters and Fionn Ó Riain Broin all made their debut for the capital during the 13 point defeat. Gilroy has been experimenting with the division 1B league team attempting to give younger players sufficient opportunity to break into the Championship squad.

The second round of the league yielded a more promising result for the Dublin side after defeating Antrim 0-23 to 0-22 in Dunloy.

The win was succeeded by another disappointing defeat to Limerick who remain undefeated as of yet in the league. Limerick led confidently at half-time (1-13 to 0-7) despite hitting eight wides.

The Dublin squad made three changes at half-time. However, Limerick continued to dominate in the second half, securing a three-win streak with a final score of 0-17 to 1-20.

Galway also proved too strong for Dublin in the fourth round of the league in Parnell Park. The All-Ireland champions secured their fourth consecutive win with a full-time score of 1-20 to 1-14.

Dublin’s third defeat in four games leaves them needing to defeat Laois in Portlaoise on the 4th of March in order to avoid a relegation play-off. Galway, however, will be turning their attention to Limerick who they will clash with in the final round on the 4th of March. The winner of the match will advance into division 1A of the Allianz League for 2019.

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