Dublin hurlers, having led by two points at half time, took second control of this NHL Division lB third round tie at Netwatch Cullen Park, Mattie Kenny’s side outscoring hosts Carlow by 0-14 to 0-5 in that second period.
Watched by an estimated 900 fans, who braved the dreadful conditions, Carlow proved stubborn opponents for the Dubs.
In the opening half they flooded their defence and, in the prevailing sodden conditions, scores were very hard to come by.
It was a physical battle all through with Carlow using Marty Kavanagh as their only forward target in a first half in which they played into the wind.
Dublin’s Rian McBride was the game’s outstanding player, hitting 0-4 from play in a stellar performance.
Chris Crummey, although wearing the No 5 jersey, played at centre forward and he had an impressive game even if he spurned a couple of first half goal chances.
In the second half Dublin’s superior hurling skills came into play. They attacked from deep and, mainly through judicious use of the handpass, created overlaps.
Goal chances continued to come and go for the Dubs but, all the time, they kept picking off their points.
The named half back line of Chris Crummey, Daire Gray and Séan Moran each chipped in with 0-2 while free-taker OisiÍn O’Rorke scored 0-3 from frees.
And second half substitute Paul Ryan, top scored for his side with 0-5, in a 21 minute cameo.
Carlow goalie Damien Jordan made some outstanding saves in the Carlow goal and went off injured after a wonderful one-on-one save from Dublin full forward Ronan Hayes on 49 minutes.
Mattie Kenny, summed up the game as “a tough, physical battle.”
He stated: “We needed to keep the scoreboard ticking over – a night like tonight is a character builder – you have to really work very hard in conditions like this.
My players applied themselves well over the 70 minutes. It was a good, strong team performance.
Having lost to Kilkenny and beaten Laois the Dubs manager said his players can now look forward to a vital game in Croke Park against Wexford next Saturday.
Carlow boss Colm Bonnar commented: “We worked very hard, wanting to up our performance after the Clare and Kilkenny game. We saw something to build on.”
His side is seven or eight players down, adding: “We only had young fellows to bring on but they want to hurl for Carlow.
The former Tipperary All-Ireland conceded that “Dublin were the better team on the night.”
Marty Kavanagh carried the can for Carlow in attack, getting best support from John Michael Nolan, who scored 0-2 from play.
Waterford referee Michael Walsh had a fine game, allowing the players a certain latitude in the dreadful conditions, although the Carlow pitch held up very well in the circumstances.
Full-Time Highlights of Carlow vs Dublin in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group B match, here on GAA NOW.— The GAA (@officialgaa) February 15, 2020
Dublin: 0-20 pic.twitter.com/huVUuYK5Pf
P Ryan 0-5, 0-3 frees, 0-1 65, R McBride 0-4, O O’Rorke 0-3, all frees, C Crummy (0-1 free), D Keogh, D Gray, S Moran (0-1 free) 0-2 each.
M Kavanagh 0-6, 0-4 frees, J M Nolan 0-2, D English 0-1 (free).
A Nolan; P Smyth, E O’Donnell, J Madden; C Crummey, D Gray, S Moran; J Malone, R McBride, J Hetherton, D Burke, M Schutte; O O’Rorke, R Hayes, S Barrett.
D Keogh for Schutte (h/t); C O’Callaghan for Barrett (h/t); P Ryan for O’Rorke (49), A O’Neill for McBride (64); F McGibb for Burke (67); A Dunphy for Madden (69).
D Jordan; R Smithers, P Doyle, M Doyle; R Coady, D English, G Bennett; J Kavanagh, A Amond; J M Nolan, M Kavanagh, K McDonald; T Joyce, P Coady, C Treacy.
S Whelan for R Coady (injured) (16); C Abbey for Jordan (injured) (47) ; Dean Tobin for Smithers (59); Dara Tobin for P Coady (6l); T Daly for Amond (70).
T Walsh (Waterford).