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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019


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We went minute-by-minute as Dublin kicked off their Leinster SHC challenge against Teddy McCarthy’s Laois in Tullamore.

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Dublin 3-23 Laois 1-7

Good afternoon and welcome to the first of this afternoon’s GAA liveblog double-header. All of the action worth watching is at O’Connor Park in Tullamore. Later this evening, we’ll have updates from the clash of Offaly v Wexford but first, it’s Laois v Dublin. Throw-in is just five minutes away at 5pm.

First things first, here are your teams. We start with Laois:

Eoin Reilly; Canice Coonan, Darren Maher, Gearoid Burke; Conor Dunne, Matthew Whelan, Michael McEvoy; James Walsh, Shane Hanlon; Stephen Maher, Brian Dunne, Willie Hyland; Tommy Fitzgerald, Neil Foyle, David O’Mahoney.

And here’s how Anthony Daly’s Dubs line out:

Gary Maguire; Niall Corcoran, Peter Kelly, Tomás Brady; Stephen Hiney, Joseph Boland, Michael Carton; Johnny McCaffrey (c), Shane Durkin; Danny Sutcliffe, Liam Rushe, Conal Keaney; Paul Ryan, Conor McCormack, David Treacy.

We’re off and running in O’Connor Park.

Both teams line out as expected during the week. Laois’s three main injury worries — goalkeeper Eoin Reilly, full-back Darren Maher and full-forward Neil Foyle — are all passed fit to start.

Some familiar faces in the Dublin line-up as well with Tomás Brady and Conal Keaney making their return from long-term absences.

Dublin open the scoring. David Treacy takes the ball inside and lays it off to Conor McCormack who slots the afternoon’s first point. Dublin 0-1 Laois 0-0

McCormack immediately adds another for Dublin. Bright start from the full-forward. Dublin 0-2 Laois 0-0

With the wind behind them, all of the hurling is coming from Dublin. Canice Coonan is forced to concede a 65 in a dangerous situation and Paul Ryan takes the chance for his opening score of the afternoon. Dublin 0-3 Laois 0-0

Oooh, great chance for Laois draws a great save from Gary Maguire. Neil Foyle bears down on goal but Maguire gets his hurl behind it to save.

GOAL! (Rushe, 8′) By such fine margins, eh? Seconds after Maguire’s save from Foyle, Dublin come straight back down the pitch and score. Liam Rushe shrugs off the attention of Darren Maher and slams a fine finish past Eoin Reilly. Dublin 1-3 Laois 0-0

Paul Ryan tacks on a 30m free to stretch Dublin’s lead to seven points. Complete dominance by Anthony Daly’s men in these opening minutes. Dublin 1-4 Laois 0-0

Twelve and a half minutes gone and Laois finally get on the board. It’s Willie Hyland — who else? — who points the free. Dublin 1-4 Laois 0-1

GOAL! (Maher, 14′) Eoin Reilly launches a long free towards the Dublin goal and after an almighty scramble, Stephen “Picky” Maher gets the final touch and diverts past Gary Maguire. Very much against the run of play but, after all that, Dublin only lead by three points. Dublin 1-4 Laois 1-1

Paul Ryan sticks over a free to settle Dublin’s nerves. Dublin 1-5 Laois 1-1

Cracking score from Dublin wing-forward Danny Sutcliffe who scores the first point of his championship career in blue. Dublin 1-6 Laois 1-1

David Treacy adds a close-range point for the Dubs but that would’ve been a goal but for another brilliant stop from Eoin Reilly who had to be at his best to stop Paul Ryan’s initial effort. Dublin 1-7 Laois 1-1

GOAL! (Rushe, 24′) Liam Rushe is putting on a masterclass in Tullamore. Conal Keaney plays a ball into him in the corner, he turns his marker Darren Maher inside out and races towards goal before firing high into the top corner, beating Reilly at his near post. Wonderful stuff by Rushe. Dublin 2-7 Laois 1-1

McCormack points to stretch Dublin’s lead to 10 points. There’s been a change as well for Laois with Chris Murray coming on David O’Mahoney at corner-forward. Dublin 2-8 Laois 1-1

GOAL! (Durkin, 28′) This is in a danger of becoming a rout before the half-time break. Eoin Reilly is caught badly underneath a long, dropping ball and it carries directly into the net. It doesn’t look like it got a touch on the way through and so it’ll probably be credited to Shane Durkin. Dublin 3-8 Laois 1-1

Paul Ryan and Shane Durkin add a point apiece each for Dublin. Anthony Daly will be very pleased with his side’s work so far in this, their first championship outing. Just under five minutes to the break. Dublin 3-10 Laois 1-1

Willie Hyland has missed two frees in the last few minutes — a collector’s item.

Johnny McCaffrey has a sight on goal but sends it over the bar instead. A minute later, Conal Keaney has a similar opportunity but also points. Dublin 3-12 Laois 1-1

Shane Durkin is completely unmarked and slams over a point. David Treacy adds another before the break. Very impressive by the Dubs who are absolutely cruising now. Dublin 3-14 Laois 1-1

HALF TIME: Dublin 3-14 Laois 1-1

Well, what is there to say? Dublin are in blistering form, picking off their chances with ease, and Laois simply can’t handle them. The decision to switch Liam Rushe and Conor McCormack at centre- and full-forward has paid dividends already, and Darren Maher is having one of those afternoons trying to get anywhere near the Dubs’ goal hero.

Just the 19 points in it at the break so. Oh to be a fly on the wall of Teddy McCarthy’s dressing room…

We’re back underway and… Paul Ryan opens the scoring for the Dubs. Dublin 3-15 Laois 1-1

There was another change at half-time there for Laois — Cahir Healy is on for Neil Foyle.

Liam Rushe points for Dublin — and that’s his last action of the afternoon. He makes way with David “Dotsy” O’Callaghan coming on in his place. Dublin 3-16 Laois 1-1

Paul Ryan points and Dotsy O’Callaghan adds another. Grim, grim viewing for the Laois fans — Dublin lead by 23 points. Dublin 3-18 Laois 1-1

Stephen “Picky” Maher is penalised for a little slap with the hurl and Dublin have a 20-metre free. Instead of taking the easy point, Ryan slams it low and it’s tipped behind for a 65.

Ryan knocks over the 65. Danny Sutcliffe’s number is up; he’s replaced by Simon Lambert. Dublin 3-19 Laois 1-1

A change for Laois as Brian Smith comes on for Conor Dunne. It matters not to Conal Keaney, who points. Dublin 3-20 Laois 1-1

Laois can’t buy a point at the moment, even from a free. Matthew Whelan is the latest to send a dead ball wide.

Oof, that should’ve been a fourth goal for Dublin. Conal Keaney’s shot licks the outside of the left post and goes wide.

O’Callaghan finds Ryan who has the opportunity to take it on for goal but doesn’t bother, popping over for a simple point instead. You’d nearly forget that Laois have the wind at their back in this half, they can’t get down near the Dublin goal. Dublin 3-21 Laois 1-1

Just a quick reminder of the score in Portlaoise during last year’s All-Ireland SHC qualifiers. It finished Cork 10-20 Laois 1-13 on that occasion — 50 points to 16, a 34-point margin. If this keeps up, it won’t be long before the Dubs have passed that mark.

Paul Ryan points from a 20-metre free. Just over 15 minutes remaining. Dublin 3-22 Laois 1-1

Another attacking sub for Laois as Willie Dunphy comes on for James Walsh.

That’s 21 minutes gone in this second half and finally Laois have a score as Chris Murray points. That’s their first score in 42 minutes of play by my calculations. Dublin 3-22 Laois 1-2

These Laois points are like buses — wait 42 minutes for one and then two come along in a minute. It’s another substitute with this one as Willie Murphy points. Dublin 3-22 Laois 1-3

That’s three in a row for Laois. Matthew Whelan knocks over a 65 to reduce the deficit to 24. Dublin 3-22 Laois 1-4

A change for Dublin to tell you about: Oisin Gough in for Niall Corcoran.

We’re into the last 10 minutes and Matthew Whelan points another 65 for Laois. Fair to say that Dublin aren’t exactly killing themselves any more and Laois have a chance to make the scoreline a little more respectable. Dublin 3-22 Laois 1-5

What a hit from Joey Boland. The centre-back storms up the middle of the field and hits a sweet, sweet strike over the bar. Five minutes to play. Dublin 3-23 Laois 1-5

To Willie Hyland’s credit, that’s a beautiful sideline cut that he’s just sent over the bar. Laois have five of the last six points in this second half. Dublin 3-23 Laois 1-6

A Willie Hyland free cuts the margin again but this game was over as a contest a long, long, long time ago. Dublin 3-23 Laois 1-7

A minute of additional time to play here at O’Connor Park.

FULL TIME: Dublin 3-23 Laois 1-7

It’s probably for the best that referee James Owens has blown up on this one. Very uncomfortable viewing for the Laois faithful in O’Connor Park. Teddy McCarthy’s men looked completely out of their depth today and, although they stayed in touch early on with Neil Foyle’s goal, they were lucky to only lose by 22 points at the end. They go into the draw for the first round of the qualifiers tomorrow night.

For Dublin, it was little more than a glorified training exercise from about the 20th minute onwards. The perfect tonic to a disappointing league campaign and, if Dublin can build on this, they’ll fancy themselves to live with Kilkenny in the Leinster SHC semi-finals.

That’s all from us here. We’ll take a quick break and then we’re back for live minute-by-minute of the evening’s second game in Tullamore as Offaly and Wexford do battle for a place alongside Dublin and Kilkenny in the semis.

See you then.

About the author:

Niall Kelly