We look ahead to this weekends Hurling Quarter Final, and Dublin’s league record against Tipperary since 2011
Looking back to last year’s hurling year on the whole, and from a Dublin perspective of course, many hone in on March 25th at Croke Park. It would be the Dublin Hurlers last league fixture under the watchful eye of Pat Gilroy and his backroom team. They’d suffered their third consecutive league defeat to Tipperary and left the knock out stages of the competition at the Quarter Final stages.
But something stirred that afternoon. Gilroy’s side posed as the curtain raiser to the Senior Footballers final Round game against Monaghan. With Tipperary as their opponents, many had written the game off. But Dublin found something in the opening 25 minutes of this game that had been absent for about three years.
Minus their Cuala contingent, Dublin roared into the game from the throw-in and were eight points to the good within the opening ten minutes with Donal Burke, Conal Keaney, Paul Winters, Danny Sutcliffe and Fiontan McGibb all on target before a decidedly-sluggish Tipp fought their way back into contention. Yes, Tipp took over and finished the classier side. But Dublin hurling fans left Croke Park that afternoon confident of better things to come. Something else that had been missing for those few years.
A closer contest to be played this weekend
Onto 2019 and Mattie Kenny has taken the baton passed on by Gilroy and, in five league games, has made it his own. And then some. Four league wins from five, their best campaign since they lifted the Division 1 title in 2011 under the guidance of Anthony Daly. And who should await them this Saturday? Tipperary in a repeat of last year’s last eight fixture. Last year it was winners of Division 1A against fourth place in Division 1B. Well that pairing is flipped around this time, and as a contest it’s expected to be a much closer run affair to twelve months ago.
Since the turn of the decade, Dublin and Tipperary have squared off eight times in league competition. Six times in Round action in Division 1A. And on the two occasions Dublin have reached the knockout stages from 1B, Tipp have showed up to compete.
As it stands, Dublin have only won two league games against Tipp since the beginning of 2011, with the teams tied once in 2012, and Tipperary getting the upper hand on the other five occasions.
With last year’s League Quarter Final already mentioned, we look at three more important league encounters from over the years that pitted these two sides against each other.
2011 National Hurling League Division 1
With Dublin only suffering one defeat against Galway over seven rounds, it was only right that they faced Kilkenny in the League Final. They’d met them in Round 6 in Croke Park and played out a 1-17 to 3-11 draw. But in the Final Dublin put in a spirited performance winning on a score of 0-22 to 1-07 in front of a blue dominated 42,030 at HQ.
In Round 2 Dublin welcomed Tipperary to Parnell Park. And in a tight competition, they won by the minimum 1-16 to 1-15. Conal Keaney scored 0-14 of that tally. The fortune continued right through the competition with Dublin eventually crowned Championship.
2012 National Hurling League Division 1A
In controversial circumstances the national league was thrown asunder this year with the top divisions being split and their make altered. And Dublin suffered a League Championship winning hangover. From Division 1 champions the previous year they lost their Division 1A status immediately. Losing four of the five round games, and only drawing the fifth, saw them face Galway in a relegation dog fight. And a fight it was.
Taking two games to decide, Dublin eventually gave in to Galway’s determination. The first game ended in stalemate at 2-20 to 0-26 in Tullamore. And a week later, with the game played played in Portlaoise, Galway ran out clear winners on a whopping score of 4-21 to 0-19.
Dublin’s only positive result that campaign was a 2-15 to 0-21 tied game against Tipperary in Croke Park.
2013 National Hurling League Division 1B
In their first season as a Division 1B team, Dublin rallied back following a horrible 2012, and despite finishing second in the league table, they beat Limerick by a point in Thurles to capture the title and promotion back to Division 1A.
As 1B Champions they gained a slot in the overall Division 1 Semi Finals. Against? You’ve guessed it. The men from Tipperary. And unfortunately for the Dubs, Tipp brought their A game. Brushing Dublin aside, Tipperary ran out comfortable 4-20 to 0-17 winners, but would lose to Kilkenny in the final.