A tough few weeks lie ahead for the Dublin hurlers as they must fight for their place in Division 1A of the National Hurling League after todays loss to Clare in Ennis.
It was a day that started well for Ger Cunningham's men, recording their first score of the game after just 2 minutes, that one coming from the stick of Niall McMarrow who looked fresh in the opening half. It didn't take long for Clare to respond with three unanswered points and after 15 minutes the Dubs found themselves trailing by 2 points at a bitterly cold Cusack Park.
But then came a score that proved crucial for the Boys in Blue, a goal from Ryan O'Dwyer took advantage of some very bad defending on Clare's behalf. At that stage the visitors lead 1-4 to 5 points and the gap never fell below two points, before the break with thanks to scores from Fiontan McGibb, McMarrow and Donal Burke.
However, the second half told a completely different story, as Clare dominated the play from the get-go. Their free taker, David Reidy proved to be the key component in the Clare comeback, as he knocked over all the opportunities he got from placed ball.
Seadna Morey and Cathal McInerney found scores for the home side putting them into a one point lead for the first time since early in the first half.
The Boys in Blue went 15 minutes in the second half without a score, but in the dying moments the Dub's had two opportunities to level the game with frees from right in front of the goal, however they weren't executed.
A final point by Ian Galvin for the Banner really put any hope of a Dublin comeback to bed.
With one more group game against Kilkenny ahead for Ger Cunningham's young men, the return of the Cuala players will come as a boost, as Dublin aim to keep their places in Division 1A.
FULLTIME SCORE - CLARE 0-20 DULIN 1-15