Paul Keane reporting at Parnell Park
THE HALF-TIME introduction of Donal Burke was crucial at Parnell Park where hot favourites Dublin came from behind to secure a battling Allianz NHL Division 1B win.
Burke, among a group of Dublin players who featured for DCU in the Fitzgibbon Cup this week, didn’t start but bailed his team out with 1-4 after coming on.
Dublin trailed by two points at the interval and looked to be in real trouble on a miserable night for hurling in the capital.
But Burke and fellow sub Danny Sutcliffe combined to turned the game on its head with strong second-half performances.
Tomas Connolly and Oisin O’Rorke, two more subs, each pointed as new manager Mattie Kenny just about avoided the banana skin presented by the McDonagh Cup champions.
Carlow were 8/1 outsiders to win beforehand but aided by the excellent Marty Kavanagh, who hit 0-12 on the night, pushed Dublin all the way.
Kavanagh took the frees for Colm Bonnar’s side but was hugely influential in open play also and scored eight of their first-half points.
Ted Joyce and Seamus Murphy were also on the mark as Carlow led 0-11 to 1-6 at half-time despite conceding a fourth minute goal to Dublin’s Darragh O’Connell.
The break seemed to settle Dublin and they returned for the second-half a different team, opening up with a 1-3 blast to regain the lead.
Eamonn Dillon scored their goal in the 40th minute after good work by John Hetherton who had a strong game for a Dublin side missing Conal Keaney, Cian O’Callaghan and Mark Schutte.
Connolly and Paddy Smyth added points and Burke hit three in a row to keep Carlow at bay though the visitors refused to throw in the towel and were just two behind in the 65th minute, largely thanks to Kavanagh’s free-taking.
That’s when Burke was played in by Dillon for Dublin’s third goal and the strike at the Church end of the ground ultimately settled the game.
Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke 1-4, Eamonn Dillon 1-1, John Hetherton 0-4 (0-3f), Darragh O’Connell 1-0, Fiontan McGibb 0-2, Oisin O’Rorke 0-1 (0-1f), Feargal Whitely 0-1, Tomas Connolly 0-1, Paddy Smyth 0-1.
Scorers for Carlow: Marty Kavanagh 0-12 (0-9f), Ted Joyce 0-2, Chris Nolan 0-2, James Doyle 0-1, Seamus Murphy 0-1.
1. Alan Nolan
4. James Madden
3. Eoghan O’Donnell
2. Paddy Smyth
5. Chris Crummey
6. Sean Moran
7. Shane Barrett
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8. Jake Malone
9. Darragh O’Connell
10. Fergal Whitely
11. John Hetherton
19. Fiontan McGibb
12. Riain McBride
14. Liam Rushe
15. Eamon Dillon
17. Tomas Connolly for Madden (9)
13. Donal Burke for Whitely (h/t)
21. Danny Sutcliffe for Rushe (48)
25. Davy Keogh for Malone (60)
23. Oisin O’Rorke for McGibb (67)
1. Brian Tracey
2. Alan Corcoran
3. Paul Doyle
4. Michael Doyle
5. Eoin Nolan
6. David English
7. Richard Coady
8. Jack Kavanagh
9. Sean Whelan
10. John Michael Nolan
12. Seamus Murphy
14. Edward Byrne
15. Chris Nolan
13. Ted Joyce
11. Martin Kavanagh
23. James Doyle for Murphy (43)
24. Jon Nolan for Joyce (49)
25. Richard Kelly for E Nolan (57)
22. Jack Murphy for Byrne (62)
21. Ger Coady for M Doyle (62)
Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway).
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