Dublin 2-15 Tipperary 0-21
A spectacular last-gasp goal from Liam Rushe earned Dublin a dramatic draw with Tipperary in today's keenly contested National Hurling League match.
He claimed a high delivery from Joey Boland amidst a thicket of straining arms and hurleys and then muscled his way clear before smashing the ball to the back of the net.
He definitely took a couple of steps too many before he got the strike off, but his spectacular catch earned him that lee-way and Dublin probably deserved a draw too.
They have played a lot of good hurling so far this year with nothing to show for it, and it was clear from the start of this match that they were fired up to win their first League points of the campaign.
They were quicker to breaking ball than the Tipperary players, and that greater urgency was soon reflected on the score-board as they scored the first two points of the game through Alan McCrabbe and Danny Sutcliffe.
Despite being at the tender age of 20, Sutcliffe has been outstanding for Dublin in his first league campaign, and he showed again last night why he’s one of the most exciting prospects in the country.
His second point of the day pushed Dublin into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead, but, after an unsteady start, Tipperary were growing into the contest with every passing minute.
Dublin seemed to ease off the gas though, and the match as a whole became a little listless. Even though Tipperary were hardly pulling up trees themselves, they were that bit more convincing than Dublin and by half-time had moved 0-9 to 0-7 ahead.
The game really needed someone to grab it by the scruff of the neck and give it a good shake, and that’s precisely what Dublin substitute David Treacy did when was introduced for the second-half.
With his first three touches of the match he scored a goal and two points, and gave both Dublin and the game as a whole the jolt it badly needed.
Treacy’s career has been bedevilled by dodgy hamstrings, but there’s nothing wrong with his hands and all three scores were great wristy strikes.
It had taken Dublin just three minutes to turn a two point deficit into a three point lead, but Tipperary were far from done yet and patiently began working their way back into the match.
It was full-forward Brian O’Meara who led the charge. The big Kilruane man is looking in good shape this year, and he showed both great strength and skill to score a brace of points that levelled the match.
From that moment on the intensity of the contest was suddenly ratcheted up and we finally had a top-quality game of hurling on our hands.
Strike was met with counter-strike as the ball hummed from one end of the field to the other and the score-board operator was forced to keep his wits about him.
Points form Ryan O’Dwyer and sub Niall McMorrow pushed Dublin two clear again, but Tipperary came charging back and really took a grip on the contest in the final ten minutes.
It looked liked they’d done enough to win it too when two more points from that man O’Meara helped propel them into a 0-21 to 1-15 lead, but right at the death Liam Rushe struck in pretty spectacular style to claim a share of the spoils that Dublin’s efforts probably deserved.
Tipperary: P Bourke 0-6 (5f), B O’Meara 0-5, N McGrath 0-4 (2f), J O’Brien 0-2, S Bourke, J Ryan, S McGrath, B Maher all 0-1
Dublin: D Treacy, L Rushe both 1-2, A McCrabbe 0-3 (2f), R Dwyer, D Sutcliffe, N McMorrow all 0-2, J McCaffrey, D O’Callaghan both 0-1
TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; D Maher, P Maher, C O’Brien; M Cahill, J Coghlan, T Stapleton; B Maher, J Woodlock; G Ryan, N McGrath, P Bourke; J O’Neill, B O’Meara, S Bourke. Subs: J O’Brien for S Bourke (ht), D Young for J Coghlan (46), J Ryan for P Bourke (47), S McGrath for J Woodlock (58), T Hammersley for J O’Neill (69)
DUBLIN: G Maguire; N Corcoran, P Schutte, R Treanor; M Carton, J Boland, S Durkin; J McCaffrey S Lambert; L Rushe, A McCrabbe, D Sutcliffe; D O’Callaghan, R O’Dwyer, E Dillon. Subs: D Treacy for E Dillon (ht), S Stapleton for S Lambert (51), N McMorrow for A McCrabbe (55), M O’Brien for P Schutte (57)
Ref: B Gavin (Offaly).