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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 24 November 2020


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Hello! And welcome to our live coverage of this afternoon’s Leinster Senior Football Championship final between Dublin and Laois. The All-Ireland champions are seeking an eighth consecutive title, while the O’Moore County are looking to cause the upset of upsets, aiming for their first senior provincial title since 2003.

Here’s how Dublin will line up for today’s game.

Despite what looked to be a very serious injury suffered during his side’s semi-final win over Longford following a hit from James McGivney to the ribs, Stephen Cluxton returns and starts in goal.

Jim Gavin has named no changes from that 2-25 to 0-12 victory two weeks ago.


1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnell’s)

2. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
3. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)
4. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrine’s)

5. Brian Howard (Raheny)
6. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
7. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)

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

10. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)
11. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
12. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)

13. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
15. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s)

And here’s how Laois will line up this afternoon.


1. Graham Brody

2. Darren Strong
3. Mark Timmons
4. Gareth Dillon

5. Trevor Collins
6. Colm Begley
7. Finbarr Crowley

8. John O’Loughlin
9. Kieran Lillis

10. Alan Farrell
11. Paul Kingston
12. Niall Donoher

13. Evan O’Carroll
14. Donal Kingston
15. Damien O’Connor

The Dubs have arrived at Croke Park.

Jim Gavin Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Stephen Cluxton

Jonny Cooper Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

With a little over half an hour to go before throw-in at HQ, who do you think will be crowned Leinster champions for 2018? Let us know below.

Poll Results:

Dublin (574)
Laois (186)

LATE CHANGE: Stephen Cluxton isn’t fit to start after all as Jonny Cooper leads the Dubs out, with Evan Comerford drafted in to deputise between the posts.


Dublin 0-0 Laois 0-0

2 mins — SAVE! Almost a goal straight from the throw-in as Dublin break with a tremendous surge through the middle. Con O’Callaghan breaks through and forces a brilliant save from Graham Brody in goal.


Dublin 1-0 Laois 0-0

2 mins — GOAL! Ciaran Kilkenny gives Dublin the lead with a well-taken strike. It’s a goal made in north Dublin as St Peregrines man Eric Lowndes feeds a high ball into the box which the Castleknock forward catches, before slipping into the back of the net with a deft low finish.


Dublin 1-1 Laois 0-1

7 mins — Dean Rock with his first free of the afternoon. It’s at a nice close range which he is happy to pop over the bar with relative ease. At the other end Alan Farrell responds with a well-taken score which gets Laois up and running.


Dublin 1-1 Laois 0-2

11 mins — Donal Kingston swings over an excellent free from distance which cuts the deficit to two points. A promising start for Laois in this Leinster final it has to be said.


Dublin 1-1 Laois 0-4

17 mins — Another score for Laois courtesy of Donie Kingston, and then another! We’re all level as the visitors rack up four scores in a row, while Dublin have managed four wides in that space of time.


Dublin 1-2 Laois 0-4

18 mins — Ciaran Kilkenny rallies at the other end as his side look for a response. He eyed a goal but was duly forced out to the edge of the D, where the Castleknock man was content to take his point.


PENALTY! Niall Scully is dragged down inside the box and there’s a yellow card for Mark Timmons.


Dublin 1-2 Laois 0-4

21 mins — MISS! Paul Mannion drags his spot-kick well wide of the target. It’s a massive boost for Laois who might sense something is up for grabs here. Mannion aimed for the bottom corner, but he just didn’t make the right connection.


Dublin 1-2 Laois 0-4

24 mins — Another disappointing miss for Dublin as Dean Rock kicks his free off the ground and wide of the target. His side continue to lead by a point approaching the half hour mark.


Dublin 1-3 Laois 0-4

26 mins — Rock makes up for his earlier miss by pointing from another free soon afterwards. It’s his second score of the afternoon so far.


Dublin 1-4 Laois 0-5

28 mins — A great chance for a goal as Damien O’Connor bears down on goal with only Evan Comerford to beat, but he blasts his shot over the bar, happy to take his point. There is a lot of space being opened up at the back for Dublin so far. Dean Rock takes another free at the other end and swings it over confidently.


Dublin 1-5 Laois 0-5

31 mins — Dean Rock pops a handpass over the bar following a quick exchange with James McCarthy inside the box. A goal was on, but a point prevails.


Dublin 1-6 Laois 0-5

32 mins — Brian Fenton gets his first score of the afternoon. Under significant pressure he kicks off his left boot and the effort has enough trajectory to carry over the crossbar. A really fine score.


Dublin 1-7 Laois 0-5

35 mins — Save! Con O’Callaghan with some fancy footwork just outside the area. The Cuala man tries to dip the ball cheekily over the head of Graham Brody, but the Laois goalkeeper does brilliantly to recover and tip the effort behind him over the crossbar.


37 mins — Paddy Andrews recovers possession from Evan Comerford’s kick-out and the St Brigid’s man pops over his first score of the afternoon. That should be it for the first half.


It’s been an intriguing encounter so far in this Leinster final. Dublin might have expected to be a decent bit more ahead at the break heading into this game, but for now maintain a comfortable six point advantage.

Laois, to their credit, have been really excellent in parts, scoring four points without reply during a particular purple patch. Jim Gavin’s men have always been ahead, but will be slightly concerned by the number of wides they have racked up so far.

Will Laois build on a promising opening 35 minutes and turn this game around? Or will Dublin simply turn the screw, add to their advantage and secure an eighth consecutive provincial title? Time will tell.


Dublin 1-9 Laois 0-5

36 mins — One switch for Dublin at the break as Jack McCaffrey replaces Eric Lowndes. There’s a point right from the throw-in, as Con O’Callaghan takes off with pace before slotting an effort between the posts.


Dublin 1-9 Laois 0-6

38 mins — Kieran Lillis kicks a fine score. The referee called for HawkEye to make sure of it, and the technology duly confirms the Laois midfielder’s brilliant effort did in fact fly between the posts.


Dublin 1-10 Laois 0-6

39 mins — Dean Rock slots over his fifth score of this Leinster final, extending Dublin’s lead to seven points.


Dublin 1-12 Laois 0-6

43 mins — Rock with another free, this time off the ground. Paddy Andrews then glides another point over, his second score of the game.


Dublin 1-12 Laois 0-7

44 mins — Laois fire back at the other end, Donie Kingston kicking a free over following a foul from Philly McMahon after a long ball punted in accurately from Evan O’ Carroll.


Dublin 1-13 Laois 0-7

46 mins — Rock with another free and he’s really hitting his stride now. Jim Gavin  makes a switch as 23-year-old Cormac Costello replaces Paddy Andrew off the bench.


Dublin 1-13 Laois 0-7

48 mins — Benny Carroll replaces Niall Donoher for Laois off the bench. Donie Kingston kicks a free just wide of the target, and it’s his side’s eighth wide of the game so far this afternoon.


Dublin 1-14 Laois 0-7

51 mins — Cormac Costello gets his first score of the day. It was made possible thanks to some tenacious work by Michael Darragh MacAuley, who trudged into the box on his own before offloading possession to his team-mate who was only happy to dispatch over the bar.


Dublin 1-15 Laois 0-7

52 mins — Some more great work by Costello finds Ciaran Kilkenny unmarked on edge of the area. He kicks over and there’s 11 points in the difference now as Dublin continue to asset their dominance.


Dublin 1-18 Laois 0-7

55 mins — Paul Mannion points, as does Ciaran Kilkenny — who kicks two of his own. There has been some really excellent interchange of possession lately from the All-Ireland champions as hand-passes fly to and fro seamlessly without interruption.


Dublin 1-18 Laois 0-7

59 mins — John Small is sent off for a stray hand which hit a Laois player in the face. The Dublin defender seemed to be reaching for the ball, but succeeded in making contact, as a result duly receiving his marching orders from the referee.


Dublin 1-20 Laois 0-7

63 mins — Dean Rock slots over another fine free, as Darren Daly comes on off the bench in place of Paul Mannion with a little under 10 minutes remaining in this Leinster final. Niall Scully kicks another point, and it’s eight without reply for Dublin now.


Dublin 1-22 Laois 0-7

67 mins — Ciaran Kilkenny with another point, while at the other end Evan Comerford does well to claim a Donie Kingston attempt which fell just narrowly short inside the box. Cormac Costello adds another point — his third since coming off the bench.



Dublin 1-24 Laois 0-8

70 mins — Laois get their third score of the second half, this time from the right boot of  Evan O’Carroll from distance. At the other end Cormac Costello adds another, as does Brian Howard.


Dublin 1-25 Laois 0-10

74 mins — Gary Walsh with another, a powerful right-footed point which pings between the posts and into Hill 16. Laois are into double digits, while at the other end Brian Fenton steers his second score of the afternoon over. That should be that.


About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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