Familiar feeling for the Dubs as Kilkenny rack up a cricket score 1 week ago

Familiar feeling for the Dubs as Kilkenny rack up a cricket score

Kilkenny 3-25 Dublin 0-17

This is not a great Kilkenny team, it mightn't even be a good Kilkenny team but it's still Kilkenny.

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And when you miss the chances that Dublin missed against Kilkenny this evening then it's as simple as this. You haven't a hope of beating them.

It might sound crazy to say it given the scoreline you've just read but, from 1-9, barring one or two in between, Dublin were decent. Paddy Smyth put in a tremendous shift at centre back while, behind him, James Madden was hardly beaten to a ball. Eoghan O'Donnell and Cian O'Callaghan stood up well to the pressure and Conor Burke looked lively but the problem for Dublin is a problem that they've always had.

It's the problem that's in front of them.

Their forwards had enough chances to cause a shock here in Parnell Park but this is the most shocking thing about it. If you took Donal Burke out of that forward line this evening then, between the other five, they only managed two points from play.

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And, as we've said, it wasn't as if they didn't have chances. Like when, with enough space in front of him to turn a bus, and with only one man behind him, Aidan Mellett fluffed his lines when he should have been collecting a simple pass. That would have been a tap-over point or a potential goal and you just knew that, if it was down the far end, with Cian Kenny or Martin Keoghan running onto it, then it would have been one or the other.

The Dubs had another dream of an opportunity five minutes later when, with Donal Burke picking him out with the most glorious of cross-field balls, Donnacha Ryan's first touch just was not good enough. He misjudged the flight of the ball and, instead of eyeing up the posts, he was facing down a Kilkenny line-ball.

Meanwhile, having been moved from midfield into the Kilkenny full forward line, Cian Kenny scored every time he looked at the posts. Similarly, something came off Martin Keoghan every time he touched the ball, including Kilkenny's first goal, and at half-time, with three points between the teams, that was the only difference. Kilkenny were clinical and Dublin were not.

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And at this level of hurling, as Dublin discovered in a soul-destroying second half, you just don't get away with that kind of thing. The suspicion was there at the break that, having hurled well in the first half, Dublin had missed the boat and they were about to be taught a lesson.

It didn't take long for that suspicion to become a cold hard fact.

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Adrian Mullen was brilliant in the first half, scoring an absolute cracker straight from the throw-in but he was even better in the second. This was the best he's played in a Kilkenny jersey since that day against Limerick in 2019. Alongside him in midfield, Alan Murphy also hurled well and, with Dublin staying in the dressing room, both TJ Reid and Eoin Cody livened up to join a party that was in full swing.

By the end, it was double scores, it was a familiar feeling for Dubs and, on the walk out of Parnell Park, it was a passing comment from one fan to another that summed the evening up.

'We have no goal threat. The backs weren't bad but as soon as they clear it, it's straight back in on top of them.'

Dublin

Sean Brennan; James Madden, Eoghan O'Donnell, Cian O'Callaghan; Donnacha Ryan, Paddy Smyth, Daire Gray (0-01); Conor Burke (0-02), Chris Crummey (0-01); Donal Burke (0-09, 0-07fs), Rian McBride (0-01), Danny Sutcliffe; Fergal Whitely (0-01), Ronan Hayes, Aidan Mellett.

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Subs: Mark Schutte (0-01) for Mellett (33), Eamonn Dillon (0-01) for Hayes (55), Andrew Dunphy for Gray (59), John Bellew for O'Donnell (63), Davy Keogh for McBride (65).

Kilkenny

Eoin Murphy; Mikey Butler, Conor Delaney, Tommy Walsh; Mikey Carey, Richie Reid, Paddy Deegan; Adrian Mullen (0-05), Alan Murphy (0-03); Walter Walsh, TJ Reid (1-07, 0-05fs), Padraig Walsh; Cian Kenny (0-04), Martin Keoghan (2-01), Eoin Cody (0-02).

Subs: John Donnelly (0-01) for W Walsh (ht), Billy Ryan (0-01) for P Walsh (48), Conor Fogarty for Murphy (59), Cillian Buckley (0-01) for Mullen (65), David Blanchfield for Butler (68).