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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 14 December, 2018
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No away day blues for Dublin as they storm past Laois in Nowlan Park

Meath or Louth are next up at the semi-final stage for Dublin.

Diarmuid Connolly copes with the close attentions of the Laois defence.
Diarmuid Connolly copes with the close attentions of the Laois defence.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dublin 2-21
Laois 2-10

Fintan O’Toole reports from Nowlan Park

NOT EVEN A day away from their familiar environs of Croke Park can prevent Dublin from flattening opponents in Leinster.

They clipped the wings of Laois by 11 points this evening in Nowlan Park, a powerful first-half showing paving the way for Jim Gavin’s side to advance to the semi-finals.

For any semblance of a competitive contest to emerge, we needed a solid Laois start as they settled to the pace of the game. Instead they leaked scores early and big ones at that.

There were only 15 seconds on the clock when Dublin had despatched the ball to the Laois net. Brian Fenton pumped in a delivery from midfield, Dean Rock read the bounce of the ball perfectly to steal inside the cover and finish calmly past Laois goalkeeper Graham Brody.

Laois had brief cause to cheer thereafter when Gary Walsh clipped over a point but those shouts were quickly quelled as Dublin bagged their second goal in the 5th minute. James McCarthy was the creator, Diarmuid Connolly was the finisher and this match was essentially a done deal.

At the interval Dublin were 2-12 to 0-7 to the good with the point kicking of Dean Rock, Ciaran Kilkenny and Diarmuid Connolly a joy to watch at times.

Rock finished with 1-10 to his credit, Connolly bagged 1-4 and Kilkenny fired 0-4. That trio cut Laois apart frequently.

Laois stared at an 11-point deficit at the interval and to compound matters, they had only 14 men from the 28th minute on. John O’Loughlin was shown a straight red card for striking Michael Darragh MacAuley off the ball.

In front of an attendance of 16,764, thoughts turned to how much Dublin would accelerate clear by in the second-half but Laois were organised and cohesive after the break.

They profited from the focal point Donie Kingston gave them in attack and their supporters celebrated raucously as they struck two goals. Paul Cahillane expertly slammed home a penalty in the 43rd minute after Damien O’Connor was hauled down.

Paul Cahillane scores a penalty Paul Cahillane converts a penalty for Laois. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Then Kingston transferred the ball perfectly four minutes later for Stephen Attride and  he banged the ball past Stephen Cluxton. A Ross Munnelly point in the 50th minute lifted Laois spirits further as they trailed 2-14 to 2-8.

But six points was as good as it go for them. Rock spearheaded Dublin’s scoring drive after that as they outscored Laois by 0-7 to 0-2 in the remainder of the game.

Con O'Callaghan shot is saved by Graham Brody Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Their win could have been embellished further at the death when debutant Con O’Callaghan was fouled but Connolly’s penalty was tipped away by Brody.

It didn’t matter. Dublin power forward in their province, Laois head to the qualifiers.

Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 1-10 (0-6f), Diarmuid Connolly 1-4, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-4, David Byrne, Kevin McManamon, Con O’Callaghan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Laois: Paul Cahillane 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), Stephen Attride 1-0, Donie Kingston 0-2 (0-1f), Damien O’Connor, Darren Strong, John O’Loughlin, Gary Walsh, Kevin Meaney, Ross Munnelly 0-1 each.

Dublin

1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells)

4. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)
3. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
2. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)

5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
6. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)

8. Michael Darragh Macauley (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
9. Brian Fenton (Raheny)

12. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)
13. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s)
14. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s)

23. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
11. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
15. Bernard Brogan (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh)

Subs
17. Denis Bastick (Templeogue Synge Street) for MacAuley (blood) (28)
30. MacAuley for Bastick (44)
21. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala) for McMahon (44)
19. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille) for Brogan (50)
25. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala) for Mannion (55)
20. Darren Daly (Fingal Ravens) for O’Sullivan (58)
22. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrine’s) for Cooper (62)
26. Eoghan O’Gara (Templeogue Synge Street) for Rock (62)

Laois

1. Graham Brody (Portlaoise)

3. Mark Timmons (Graiguecullen)
4. Paul Cotter (Portlaoise)
5. Stephen Attride (Killeshin)

2. Damien O’Connor (Timahoe)
6. Darren Strong (Emo)
12. Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise)

9. Brendan Quigley (Timahoe)
11. John O’Loughlin (St Brigid’s)

7. Colm Begley (Stradbally)
10. Paul Cahillane (Portlaoise)
14. Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard)

13. Donal Kingston (Arles Killeen)
8. Conor Meredith (O’Dempsey’s)
15. Gary Walsh (Ballylinan)

Subs
22. Kevin Meaney (Arles Kilcruise) for O’Carroll (29)
24. Niall Donoher (Courtwood) for Walsh (half-time)
25. Ross Munnelly (Arles Kilcruise) for Dillon (46)
19. Alan Farrell (Ballylinan) for Cahillane (62)
17. Gearoid Hanrahan (Mountmellick) for Cotter (65)
26. Ruairi O’Connor (Timahoe) for Meredith (65)

Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)

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Fintan O'Toole

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