Despite losing a man in the first half Kilkenny prove too strong for Dublin as the National Hurling League gets up and running

National Hurling League - Oisin O'Rorke

Kilkenny 3-21
Dublin 0-18
Nowlan Park, Kilkenny

Two goals in the first game of this year’s National Hurling League left an uphill struggle for Mattie Kenny’s Dublin panel as Kilkenny lay down a huge marker for the year ahead.

Despite pushing their noses in front thanks to two Oisin O’Rorke frees, Ger Aylward struck the net in the 10th minute. And it was a lead that Kilkenny would keep for the remainder of the game. Dublin stayed close to their opponents until 10 minutes before the break. Billy Ryan raised one of two green flags to push his side six clear.

Rian McBride, Sean Moran and Ronan Hayes tagged on scores to close the gap but they were matched by Kilkenny to finish the half ahead by 2-10 to 0-10. Richie Leahy received his marching orders before the break after a high frontal tackle on Danny Sutcliffe, but it didn’t dampen Kilkenny’s momentum.

Dublin press but can’t match Kilkenny’s scoring

Sean Moran hit another sweet long range score and Eamonn Dillon added another the get Dublin up and running after the break. But Kilkenny replied, Niall Brassil, John Donnelly and Alan Murphy all on target to push their lead to seven.

With 20 minutes remaining, Sean Moran had added another two scores, with Eamonn Dillon on target. The gap was five scores, and Dublin badly needed a goal to inject a bit of life back into the tie.

Unfortunately though a third goal came and again it was Billy Ryan who hit the net from a more than ambitious long range shot. Dublin to their credit never let their heads drop, but they just couldn’t match Kilkenny’s fire power.

Martin Keoghan and Luke Scanlon finished with late score to give the home fans a reason to smile.

Scorers for Kilkenny:

Alan Murphy 0-08 (7f)
Billy Ryan 2-00
Ger Aylward 1-00
Paddy Deegan 0-02
Conor Fogarty 0-02
Walter Walsh 0-02
Niall Brassil 0-02
John Donnelly 0-01
Martin Keoghan 0-01
Luke Scanlon 0-01
Michael Carey 0-01
Bill Sheehan 0-01

Scorers for Dublin:

Oisin O’Rorke 0-06 (4f)
Sean Moran 0-4 (3f)
Ronan Hayes 0-02
Eamonn Dillon 0-02
Danny Sutcliffe 0-01
Chris Crummey 0-01
Rian McBride 0-01
Tomas Connolly 0-01

Kilkenny:

1. Eoin Murphy
2. Ciaran Wallace
3. Huw Lawlor
4. Conor Delaney
5. Michael Cody
6. Paddy Deegan
7. Michael Carey
8. Conor Fogarty
9. Alan Murphy
10. John Donnelly
11. Walter Walsh
12. Richie Leahy
13. Billy Ryan
14. Ger Aylward
15. Niall Brassil

Kilkenny Substitutes:

Martin Keoghan for Ger Aylward (45)
James Maher for Alan Murphy (52)
Tommy Walsh for Michael Cody (56)
Bill Sheehan for Billy Ryan (60)

Dublin:

1. Alan Nolan
2. Paddy Smyth
3. Eoghan O’Donnell
4. James Madden
5. Chris Crummey
6. Daire Gray
20. Cian O’Callaghan
8. Fergal Whitely
9. Rian McBride
10. Tomas Connolly
11. Danny Sutcliffe
12. Ronan Hayes
13. Cian Boland
14. Oisin O’Rorke
15. Eamonn Dillon

Dublin Substitutes:

Sean Moran for Fergal Whitely (31)
Mark Schutte for Cian Boland (40)
Lorcan McMullan for Tomas Connolly (57)
John Hetherton for Rian McBride (65)

Video: DUBSTV via YouTube