By Kieran Murphy
DUBLIN showed superior levels of efficiency to keep their Walsh Cup hopes alive when they edged out Carlow in this third round tie at Parnell Park on Sunday.
They were able to get scores when they needed them and when Carlow threatened them when going ahead by 0-3 to 0-1 in the opening six minutes, the eventual winners came back with Eamonn Dillon scoring two goals in quick succession on 10 minutes.
They turned the screw and swept into a 2-6 to 0-3 lead by the 20th minute. One feared for Carlow at that point but they kept their shape and hit back with Marty Kavanagh registering 0-5 on the trot while the deficit was reduced to three when John Michael Nolan got his hurl on a sideline cut from Diarmuid Byrne to deflect the ball over the Dublin bar at the city end of the ground.
Byrne himself then added a point after John Michael Nolan created the opportunity for the Rangers clubman.
Dublin reasserted themselves with a point from Mark Schutte and Donal Burke was on hand in front of goal when he took control and found the net from close range.
The visitors persisted and while Chris Nolan stretched the Dublin defence in the first half a goal which could have sowed doubt in the Dublin effort never came.
Indeed Carlow could have conceded a goal earlier on but Damien Jordan did brilliantly to keep out an effort from Dillon before the Dublin player pounced for his two three-pointers.
Those Dublin goals were crucial and they went to the interval leading 3-8 to 0-12 with Paul Coady landing the final point of the half for Carlow.
Perhaps the memory of what St Mullins did to Cuala in the club championship was fresh in their minds because they certainly didn’t take Carlow for granted. Most of the big Dublin names were on view as Mark Schutte stroked over two early second-half Metropolitan points to extend the lead. Oisin O’Rourke added a free and Lorcan McMullan registered two points on the trot.
A half chance for a Carlow goal didn’t materialise as Jack Murphy just failed to guide the sliotar inside the right-hand post when Kavanagh tried to pick him out in front of goal.
On 55 minutes Chris Nolan finally got Carlow off the mark in the second half and David English added a long-range free. Nolan did all the work to create another Carlow goal chance but just failed to complete the job.
In the final 17 minutes the visitors outscored their rivals by 0-8 to 0-5 with newcomers Aaron Amond and Darragh Tobin both raising white flags. It might be too early to suggest the omens look good for Carlow as they prepare for a devilishly difficult national hurling league division 1B opener in Ennis at the end of the month. For sure that is an entirely different day’s work, but they played well enough here to suggest they will cause problems for more established rivals as the season unfolds.
Dublin: Sean Brennan; Andrew Dunphy (0-1), Luke Corcoran, James Madden (0-1); Paul Crummey, Daire Gray, Jake Malone; Fergal Whitely (0-1), Lorcan McMullan (0-2); David Kehoe (0-1), Donal Burke (1-0), Ronan Hayes; Eamonn Dillon (2-0), Mark Schutte (0-4), Paul Ryan (0-3 frees). Subs: Cian O’Callaghan for Gray (blood 15 mins), Oisin O’Rourke (0-5,4 frees) for Ryan (21 mins), Gray for Dunphy (25 mins), Cian Derwin for Dillon (47 mins), Alex O’Neill (0-1) for Burke (53 mins), Kevin Burke for Crummey (56 mins), Paddy Smyth for McMullan (56 mins), Cian Boland (0-1) for Kehoe (61 mins), Conor Ryan for Schutte (65 mins).
Carlow: Damien Jordan; Alan Corcoran, Paul Doyle, Ross Smithers; Ger Coady, David English (0-1 free), Diarmuid Byrne (0-1); Richard Coady, Kevin McDonald; Jack Murphy, Marty Kavanagh (0-8, 65, 0-6 frees), Ted Joyce (0-1); John Michael Nolan (0-1), Paul Coady (0-1), Chris Nolan (0-3, 0-2 frees). Subs: Sean Whelan for Joyce (41 mins), Gary Bennett for R Coady (43 mins), Eddie Byrne for Doyle (43 mins), Aaron Amond (0-1) for P Coady (47 mins), Michael Malone for G Coady (45 mins), Cathal Tracey for Kavanagh (59 mins), Adam Dunne for Murphy (62 mins), Dara Tobin (0-1) for D. Byrne (64 mins).
Referee: Gearoid McGrath (Wexford).