Dublin held on to beat Offaly by the minimum in Saturday night’s National Hurling League Division 1B opener.
Dublin led by five points at the half and won on a scoreline of 1-20 to 2-16 at Parnell Park.
Paul Ryan scored six first half points as the hosts led by 0-11 to 0-06 at the interval.
The game was a tight affair with both teams exchanging blows in the opening quarter. Conal Keaney was excellent for Dublin and put them ahead in the 17th minute with the first of his five points.
Dublin began to take control and found themselves up by five points after thirty minutes, thanks to three successive points from the impressive Paul Ryan. With the half-time whistle approaching, James Mulrooney scored Offaly’s first point in eight minutes to make it 0-09 to 0-05. Dublin finished the half strongly and found themselves ahead by five points, 0-11 to 0-06.
The game ebbed and flowed after the restart, but a number of Dublin wides, four to be exact, and an Offaly point from Shane Dooley made it 0-13 to 0-08 with 25 minutes remaining. The teams continued to exchange scores with Conor McCormack and Conal keaney scoring for Dublin. Shane Dooley scored two points for Offaly and Brian Carroll scored a wonderful point to reduce the deficit to just four points.
Dublin were stunned in the 55th minute when Shane Dooley latched onto a loose ball and hit the back of the net to reduce the arrears to just two points. Dublin reacted brilliantly and Sutcliffe responded with a goal for Anthony Daly’s side. A further point from Byrne put Dublin six points clear.
Parlon and Sutcliffe exchanged points but the Dublin defence was breached once more when the impressive Shane Dooley goaled from a 21 metre free. This was followed by another Parlon point to cut Dublin’s lead to two points.
A nervy finish ensued when Shane Dooley added another point but Dublin held on for a precious win.
Dublin: P Ryan 0-07, C Keaney 0-05, D Sutcliffe 1-02, C McCormack 0-03, J Boland, K Byrne, J McCaffrey 0-01 each.
Offaly: S Dooley 2-09, J Bergin, C Parlon 0-02 each, R Hanniffy, B Carroll, J Mulrooney 0-01 each
DUBLIN: G Maguire; P Kelly, P Schutte, R Trainor; M Carton, L Rushe, S Durkin; J Boland, K Byrne; C Keaney, J McCaffrey, D Sutcliffe; P Ryan, C McCormack, M Schutte.
Subs used: D Treacy for M Schutte (56 mins), N Corcoran for P Schutte (58), D O’Callaghan for Sutcliffe (65)
OFFALY: J Dempsey; C McDonald, S Gardiner, D King; D Mooney, K Brady, D Morkan; R Hanniffy, S Ryan; B Carroll, J Bergin, C Parlon; S Dooley, J Mulrooney, O Kealey.
Subs used: T Carroll for Ryan (52 mins), D Molloy for Carroll (65).