2011 Allianz National League Champions Dublin will play Galway in a Division 1 relegation play off following a four point defeat at the hands of Waterford this afternoon.
A spate of injuries did Anthony Daly’s men no favours, however, with a number of forwards impressing for the Deise side, Dublin struggled to match Waterford’s scoring prowess and had only amassed four points by the half-time break.
Home side Waterford started the stronger of the two in Fraher Field, Dungarvan with Gavin O’ Brien in particular hitting four first-half scores.
Dublin were slow off the mark in the first half and trailed by eight points at half time.
Despite a vastly improved second half performance, the boys in blue had left themselves a mountain to climb and it proved to be too steep as they finished the game four points adrift of Wateford.
Dublin came out fighting in the second half with points from Niall McMorrow, substitute Ross O’Carroll, David Treacy (free) and a long-range pointed free from John McCaffrey from 80 metres.
However, Waterford’s experience shone through with stalwarts John Mullane, Eoin Kelly pointing to keep their noses in front, Maurice Shanahan also scored when needed.
Dublin continued to push forward and late points from Danny Sutcliffe, O’Carroll and Ryan O’Dwyer made for an exciting finish, however Dublin’s attempted comeback was thwarted by the sending off of Dean Curran in the 55th minute.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport after the match, Dublin boss Daly praised the efforts of his young, inexperienced side, however, he pointed to a long string of wides as hampering his side’s chances of pulling off an away victory.
Dublin will now face Galway, who were hammered by 25 points by Kilkenny today, in the relegation play-off as both sides to battle to remain in Division 1a of the National League.
Scorers – Waterford: M Shanahan (0-2f), G O’Brien 0-4 each, Pauric Mahony 0-3 (0-3f), J Mullane 0-2, T Browne, E Kelly, K Moran, S Walsh 0-1 each
Dublin: D Treacy 0-4 (0-3f), E Dillon 0-3, J McCaffrey (0-1f), D Sutcliffe, N McMorrow, R O’Dwyer 0-1 each
WATERFORD: A Power, A Kearney, L Lawlor, Philip Mahony; T Browne, M Walsh, S O’Sullivan; K Moran, D Twomey; M Shanahan, Pauric Mahony, E McGrath; J Mullane, S Walsh, G O’Brien.
Subs used: S Daniels for Lawlor (39 mins), S Molumphy for Pauric Mahony (44), M O’Neill for McGrath (62), E Kelly for S Walsh (63), D O’Sullivan for Twomey (72).
DUBLIN: G Maguire; R Trainor, N Corcoran, O Gough; D Curran, M Quilty, J McCaffrey; D Curtin, S Lambert; D Treacy, M O’Brien. R O’Dwyer; E Dillon, D O’Callaghan, N McMorrow.
Subs used: P Carton for O’Brien, C Clinton for Lambert (both half-time), R O’Carroll for O’Callaghan (44 mins), D Plunkett for McMorrow (52), D Sutcliffe for Curtin (59).
Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork)