Derek Ryan at Parnell Park
Dublin will face Clare in a relegation playoff next weekend, after suffering a defeat to Kilkenny in their crucial must-win Allianz League tie this afternoon.
The Boys in Blue were forced to battle, after going down to 14-men in the first half when Gary Maguire was red carded.
And, despite the numerical disadvantage, they matched the Cats for large periods in the second half.
However, ultimately the 15 men of Kilkenny had too much in their tank and pulled clear late on to set up a quarter final tie with Wexford.
Despite the defeat, Dublin will be happy with their performance- especially after they went down to 14 men.
It was an ominous start, though, with Kilkenny hitting the net early on.
Colin Fennelly made a great run in the 7th minute and then laid it off for the impressive Conor Martin, who finished to the net.
Dublin didn't let that affect them, though, and scores from late addition to the side Donal Burke kept them ahead as half time approached.
The game's pivotal moment came on the half hour mark, as Dublin suffered a double blow.
Liam Blanchfield raced clear and hit the Cats' second goal, while Gary Maguire was sent off for Dublin, for a wild pull on Blanchfield as he hit the net.
Kilkenny went in 2-5 to 0-10 up at the break.
Despite that double blow, Dublin certainly didn't lay down in the second half.
Kilkenny started the half well with two points.
But the brilliant Burke struck back for Dublin, hitting their first goal of the game on 36 minutes- finishing well to the net from close range.
Whenever Kilkenny looked set to pull clear, Dublin fought back, with Burke excellent, while the superb Chris Crummey knocked over three excellent points from wing back.
However, Kilkenny's numerical advantage started to tell as the game wore on, with TJ Reid coming into the game a lot more, as the Cats began to pull clear.
With the game finely poised at 2-12 to 1-14 on the 50 minute mark, Reid knocked over two scores, with the lively Martin also adding to the scoreboard, to give Kilkenny some breathing space.
Try as they might, Dublin couldn't find back, despite Burke's best efforts- he hit 1-9 today.
Further scores from Reid, Martin and Walter Walsh put the game to bed long before the full time whistle.
In the end it was a comfortable 2-20 to 1-16 victory for the Cats- a scoreline which doesn't tell the full story.
Kilkenny will now welcome Wexford to Nowlan Park next weekend in the Allianz League quarter finals, while Dublin will now need to beat Clare if they are to avoid slipping down to Division 1B.