First Team Star
Feb 20, 2017, 10:03 PM
Post #475 of 477
A weekend in south east Ireland for a hurling double
National Hurling League Div 1A
Cork 1-14 Dublin 2-19
at Pairc ui Rinn, adm E15, prog E3, att 6214
This weekend was the second round of games in the NHL. Cork were coming off the back of a good win against Clare, whereas Dublin had been thrashed by Tipperary, leading to pre-match odds of 1/5 for a home win, and 9/2 for the visitors. All seemed to be going as planned in the early stages as Cork raced into a 4-1 lead, with Dublin spilling the ball and giving away possession. About the 15 minute mark however, Dublin clicked and put a run of 11 unanswered points together including a goal, thoroughly rattling Cork. Cork didn't help themselves with some poor play, including persisting with short puck outs from the keeper which were frequently picked off, or led to trouble in midfield. The teams turned around with Dublin 4 points to the good at 1-07 to 1-11. Ironically Cork's goal was the best of the game, a fine passing move down most of the pitch. Things could have been worse though as Dublin also had a penalty brilliantly saved by Cork keeper Nash in the first half (he'd done the same the week before too). Their second goal came five minutes after the restart, making the gap six, and never looked like losing from that point. Dublin were reduced to 14 for the last 15 when Crumney was sent off for a second yellow, but it really didn't make any impact on the game.
Pairc ui Rinn is Cork's secondary county venue, but the only currently open one as the larger Pairc ui Chaoimh is currently being rebuilt. One side has a full length covered seated stand, the central sections with bucket seats, the flanks with bench seating. On the other side there is a covered terrace running about half the length of the pitch. The other half being occupied by dressing rooms and admin buildings. The ends are open terracing, one larger than the other.
National Hurling League Div 1A
Waterford 0-15 Tipperary 1-18
At Walsh Park, adm E12, prog, E3, att 7,344
Last week while Tipperary were putting 16 points on Dublin, Waterford went to Kilkenny and beat them for the first time since 2004. Waterford won the leage in 2015 and were runners up last year, but haven't quite made the jump to a meaningful challenge for the All Ireland title. Last year they reached the Munster final, but were on the end of a salutary 5-19 to 0-13 defeat by Tipperary. So after Tipp's fine start, all eyes were on this game as a barometer for the season ahead, and whether the home team's credentials would be better for still being hurling come August or even September. And in the first half it could not have been closer. There was never more than a point in it and the teams were level no fewer than ten times. They turned around at 0-10 to 0-11, the visitors holding the lead. Waterford had been wasteful though, and even the Tipp fan next to me conceded they should have been 3 to 4 points to the good. After the break, Tipp managed to put a run of points together and within 7 minutes of the resumption where four points to the good. They then had a penalty awarded but this was brilliantly saved by Regan in the Waterford goal. Then with 12 minutes to go, Tipp got their goal. A first effort was saved in equally impressive fashion, at full stretched, but the ball bounced up to allow John McGrath a relatively easy job to bat the loose ball into the net - harsh on Regan. Waterford then had probably their only solid goal effort but it was dealt with equally well by the Tipp keeper.
Walsh Park is a traditional venue with one main stand down one side containing bench seating, and cover for the back half of the rows. The other three sides are sloping banks with crush barriers of a type long since vanished at many sports grounds in Britain - not even any steps formed into them.
Two great games, and always a nice part of the world to visit. The drive between Cork and Waterford was also very pleasant. We stopped in Dungarvan one way, and in Youghal on the way back. The weather helped greatly, especially given how bad it had been the week before, with most of the match reports then making mention of the wind and rain and their effect on the games.
One small note on the ticket price variation: you can buy tickets on the day - League games will never sell out (barring the Kerry - Dublin football game in Tralee in March), but they are also available in certain Centra and SupaValue stores - not all: check both stores websites for a list of such branches. If you buy before the day of the match you get a discounted rate of E12, but purchases on the day cost the regular E15. We only flew in on the Saturday morning, hence the Cork were full rate, Waterford discounted. They are printed from a terminal so you can buy tickets for any game at any branch that sells them.