Rushe job at last minute grabs morale-boosting draw for Dublin
Dublin Tipperary 2-15 0-21
DUBLIN ARE still without a win, but Anthony Daly knows that sharing the spoils with Tipp in Croke Park on Saturday was a form of victory.
After playing impressively but losing by a point to both Cork and Kilkenny in recent weeks, Dublin looked to be heading for a similar fate here when they were cut adrift in the closing stages.
But the resilient Dubs, still missing a number of players, dug deep to salvage something more than pride, with Liam Rushe soaring to grab the sliotar and crash it to the net with the last puck of the game.
The point shared does not save last year’s league champs from the fate of having to play Waterford in a relegation final in Division 1A next month. But the main thing for Daly was the fact their luck had finally turned.
“It was important to get a result here. It looked like it was gone from us. I suppose we had a couple of chances in the last two weeks to win, or draw at least, so in fairness we got the break,” he said.
“In fairness to Liam it was a great goal and a great finish. We’re delighted to get something out of it. We know we are in the relegation final for sure now. In some ways that might be more intense than a league semi-final.
“It’ll be a great pre-run for the championship.
“We were shocking against Galway, but we are after producing three honest displays since. We asked for performances and we are after getting three in a row.
“We only picked up one point from them but it is good to get something out of it. Everyone is disappointed that we find ourselves in this position. But at the same time there is a little spring in the dressingroom there now.”
Tipp boss Declan Ryan looked unhappy to have been caught at the death. But considering they only started four of the team that started last year’s All-ireland final, they’ll realise all is not lost.
“We would have settled for a draw 10 or 15 minutes into the second half when we went a few points down. The guys battled back well and it looked like we had the game won. The end result was disappointing from our point of view. We could have done with the two points and it makes the Cork game a knockout effectively in the last round,” said Ryan.
Dublin started brightly, with Alan Mccrabbe pointing after only 30 seconds and, deploying their trademark intensity, they were 0-4 to 0-2 up after 10 minutes.
But once Tipp settled they matched Dublin’s physicality and in a game dominated by defences they had a rock in Pádraic Maher.
With goalkeeper Darren Gleeson making a couple of fine saves, it wasn’t until Tipp moved Noel Mcgrath into full forward that they came to life and became more economical than Dublin to lead 0-9 to 0-7 at the break.
But Dublin hit back with 1-2 in three minutes when John Mccaffrey and David Treacy pointed before Mccrabbe set up Treacy to flash to the net in the 39th minute.
With Joey Boland again prominent and young star Danny Sutcliffe winning good ball, Dublin tried to drive on, but Tipp refused to buckle.
The turning point came when their towering forward Brian O’meara put his early lethargy aside and caught fire. The introduction of John O’brien also turned the screw on a Dublin side who were lacking punch up front to make their possession count.
The sides were level in the 68th minute before O’brien, Shane Mcgrath and O’meara all pointed within four minutes and Tipp looked to have snatched the points. But with time running out Boland lofted one last hopeful ball into the Hill 16 square. Rushe leapt and gathered and crashed forward and drilled low to the net for a draw Dublin fully deserved. DUBLIN: G Maguire; N Corcoran, P Schutte, R Treanor; M Carton, J Boland, S Durkin; J Mccaffrey (0-1), S Lambert; L Rushe (1-2), R O’dwyer (0-2), D Sutcliffe (0-2); E Dillon, D O’callaghan (0-1), A Mccrabbe (0-3, two frees). Subs: D Treacy (1-2) for Dillon (h/t), N Mcmorrow (0-2) for Mccrabbe (55 mins), S Stapleton for Lambert (57 mins), M O’brien for Schutte (inj) (57 mins). TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; D Maher, P Maher, C O’brien; M Cahill, J Coghlan, T Stapelton; B Maher (0-1), J Woodlock; G Ryan, N Mcgrath (0-4, two frees), P Bourke (0-6, five frees), J O’neill, B O’meara (0-5), S Bourke (0-1). Subs: J O’brien (0-2) for S Bourke (h/t), D Young for Coghlan (45 mins), J Ryan (0-1) for P Bourke 47, S Mcgrath (0-1) for Woodlock (58 mins), T Hammersley for O’neill (69 mins). Referee: B Gavin (Offaly)