It was all too easy for Tipperary against Dublin in their Allianz Hurling League opener

By Paul Keane

Tipperary 1-24 Dublin 1-8

They started without over half of their All-Ireland winning team but victory still came easily for Tipperary at Croke Park where they streaked to a 16-point opening round Allianz Hurling League win.

Michael Ryan's side returned to GAA headquarters five months on from dispatching Kilkenny in the Championship decider and came good after a shaky start to heap the pressure on Dublin.

All-Star full-forward Seamus Callanan blasted eight points while Jason Forde hit 1-3 including the 55th minute goal and there was a Man of the Match display from captain Padraic Maher who nailed two great points.

Tipp led by just five points at half-time having hit just one point in the first 18 minutes though took over in the second-half and outscored Dublin by 1-10 to no score at one stage to win with plenty to spare.

The result leaves Tipp sitting pretty in Division 1A ahead of next weekend's trip to Waterford though Dublin boss Ger Cunningham is under more pressure now having axed a number of household names during the close season.

A bad evening for the hosts was compounded by Shane Barrett's 70th minute dismissal for two yellow card offences.

Tipperary didn't participate in the Munster senior league pre-season competition and, perhaps as a result, were rusty early on.

Dublin, who played three games in the Bord na Mona Walsh Cup, moved 0-4 to 0-1 ahead thanks to points from Niall McMorrow, Oisin O'Rorke, Fionntan MacGibb and Donal Burke.

But Aidan McCormack's 19th minute point for Tipp was the first of five in a row from the Munster champions that put them in the driving seat.

McCormack, from Thurles Sarsfields, was excellent in the opening half and picked off three fine points from play, the third of which came on the stroke of half-time from out on the right wing.

Callanan, nominated for Player of the Year three years running, miscued an early point attempt in the rain sodden conditions but clipped over five first-half points from frees.

Dublin added just two points after running up that early lead and found themselves 0-11 to 0-06 down at the break.

They needed a strong second-half performance but with a young team containing three minors from 2016 - Donal Burke, Paddy Smyth and Cian O'Sullivan - were easily put away by a superior Tipp force.

Dublin didn't score a point from open play in the second-half and registered just 1-2 in total in that period.

As for Tipp, they reeled off 1-10 without reply between the 39th and 58th minutes to put the game to bed long before full-time.

Forde's goal arrived in the 55th minute when he strode clear down the right and fired a low, hard shot beyond Gary Maguire in the Dublin goals.

Substitute Eamonn Dillon pilfered a goal for Dublin late on when he volleyed in at the far post after a ball across from the left by Burke.

Scorers for Tipperary: S Callanan (0-8, 8 frees), J Forde (1-3), A McCormack (0-5), P Maher (0-2), T Hamill, N McGrath, K Bergin, S Curran, N O'Meara, J O'Dwyer (1 free) (0-1 each).

Scorers for Dublin: E Dillon (1-0), D Burke (0-3, 3 frees), N McMorrow (0-2), O O'Rorke, F MacGib, C Crummey (0-1 each).

Tipperary: D Mooney; D Maher, J Barry, J O'Keeffe; T Hamill, R Maher, P Maher; B Maher, K Bergin; S O'Brien, J Forde, N McGrath; J O'Dwyer, S Callanan, A McCormack.

Subs: S Kennedy for R Maher (27-35), M Cahill for O'Keeffe (49), S Curran for O'Brien (52), N O'Meara for Callanan (55), B Heffernan for R Maher (56), D Quinn for P Maher (59).

Dublin: G Maguire; S Barrett, E O'Donnell, P Smyth; C Crummey, L Rushe, S McGrath; B Quinn, N McMorrow; D Fox, R O'Dwyer, F MacGib; O O'Rorke, D Burke, C O'Sullivan.

Subs: J Madden for McGrath (42), E Dillon for O'Sullivan (46), R McBride for Fox (49), C Conway for O'Rorke (55), A Quinn for MacGib (63).

Referee: P O'Dwyer (Carlow).


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