Ger Cunningham reckons one-on-one penalty taking is the way to go after witnessing a little piece of hurling history unfold in the annual Dubs Stars challenge.
The new Dublin manager watched fringe talent Paul Winters beat Dubs Stars goalkeeper Matt Collins in a straight head to head in the 39th minute.
The reduction of defenders on the goal line from three to one is in line with the new trial rule on penalty taking which will be used in the upcoming pre-season competitions.
Critics of the change believe goalkeepers will now have little chance of saving a well-struck shot, though Collins did get his hurley to Winters’ drive before seeing it deflect in.
Tipperary were awarded three penalties over the course of two All-Ireland final ties last September and famously returned just 0-1 from a possible three goals.
They may be the first team to trial the new rule in competitive fare next Friday evening when they begin their Waterford Crystal Cup campaign.
“I think it’s worth a go,” said Dublin boss Cunningham of the trial. “Using it in the Walsh Cup and the Waterford Crystal competitions and as the year goes on, I think it’ll create a bit of atmosphere for the one on ones.
“I don’t think that the guys will score all the time, the goalie got his hurley to it today and could have blocked it. There’s a bit of pressure on the taker to score as well. So I think it’s going to add excitement to the whole thing. As the season goes on and people get used to the idea, there’ll be a bit of psychology involved for goalies and guys taking them. You’re still 21 yards out and you still have to strike the ball outside the 21-yard line. So it’s still a big challenge.”
Cunningham was happy with the low key challenge tie, despite the heavy defeat. He fielded a largely second string side.
Winters finished with 1-4 for Dublin while teenage Fionn Ó Riain Broin, from the St Jude’s club, shot 2-5 for the club selection.
Ó Riain Broin delivered 1-3 of his tally in the first-half and had three goal opportunities late in the game, the last of which he dispatched after a fine solo run.
Dublin did rally midway through the second half and reduced their arrears to three points at one stage. But the Dubs Stars’ second goal from Shane Stapleton put them in pole position again.
“We’re kind of all still feeling each other out,” said Cunningham of his new role in the capital. “They’re getting used to what I’m looking for and I’m getting used to their personalities. These are a great chancre for us to get to know the lads.”
Cunningham confirmed he won’t have any dual players in his panel, ruling out any hurling involvement for the likes of Ciarán Kilkenny or Cormac Costello.
“No, no-one’s coming across (from the football panel),” he said.
Dubs Stars scorers: F O Riain Broin (2-5, two frees), S Stapleton (1-1), D Sutcliffe (0-4), C Carton and C Conway (0-2 each), R Hardy, A Morris, O O’Rorke and P Maguire (0-1 each).
Dublin scorers: P Winters (1-4, one pen, two frees), A Clabby (1-1, one free), C McBride and J Hetherton (0-2 each), M Quilty, S Barrett, G Whelan, S Ryan (0-1 each).
DUBS STARS: M Collins; C O’Callaghan, G McManus, C Mangan; C MacGabhann, S Durkin, G O’Meara; D Mulligan, A Morris; C Carton, D Sutcliffe, C Conway; F O Riain Broin, E O’Rorke, S Stapleton.
Subs used: R Hardy, P Maguire.
DUBLIN: C Dooley; C Murphy, S Barrett, S O’Connor; C Robinson, M Quilty, S Lambert; C McBride, J Hetherton; P Winters, G Whelan, F McGibb; A Clabby, J Roche, S Ryan.
Sub used: P Carton.
Referee: D Harrington (St Sylvester’s)