Dublin started their defence of the Leinster Senior Football Championship and All Ireland titles with a comprehensive 2-21 to 2-10 win Over Laois at Nowlan Park on Saturday evening.
The reigning champions started the game at full throttle and got their first goal of the game through Dean Rock within the first 15 seconds. Things got worse for Laois when Dublin got a second goal before 5 minutes had been played courtesy of Diarmuid Connolly who produced a cool finish past the Laois keeper in a move that was started from a kick out from Dublin keeper Stephen Cluxton.
The first half soon became Dublin’s as the dubs took control as Rock and Connolly added to their scores, while Paul Cahillane was trying to get Laois back in the tie.
Things got worse for Laois in the last ten minutes of first half when John O’Loughlin was sent off for punching Michael Darragh MacAuley.
In the remaining minutes of the first half Paul Cahill and Kevin Meaney added to the Laois score as Dublin continued to push away from Laois. While in the sky blue Ciaran Kilkenny and Connolly continued to increase to the Dublin lead as they went into the break 11 points up to the tune 2-12 to 0-07.
Dublin left off where they had started in the first half and started the second half brightly, and continued to increase their lead over Laois. Laois were given a lifeline when Damien O’Connor was dragged down by Johnny Cooper and Laois were awarded a penalty. O’Connor dispatched the penalty past Cluxton in the Dublin goal to make the difference between the two teams 10 points.
A few minutes later Stephen Attride shrugged off the challenge of the Dublin defence and produced a mighty finish over the head of Cluxton into the top corner of Dublin goal.
Dublin killed off the threat of a real comeback from Laois as they added to their score.
One of the biggest cheers of the night came from the introduction of Dublin fan favourite Eoghan O’Gara who returned from an ACL injury after getting injured in March last year.
One of the biggest cheers of the evening came from the introduction of Dublin fan favourite Eoghan O’Gara who returned from an ACL injury after getting injured in March last year.
Connolly had the chance to put the icing on the cake when Dublin were awarded a penalty but had his penalty saved by the Laois brody keeper who produced a fine save.
Dublin’s footballers are next in action on the 26th June in the Leinster Senior Football Championship Semi Final and will find out their opponents next week.
SCORERS – Dublin: D Rock 1-10 (0-6f), D Connolly 1-4, C Kilkenny 0-4, D Byrne, K McManamon, C O’Callaghan 0-1 each. Laois: P Cahillane 1-2 (1-0 pen, 2f), S Attride 1-0, D Kingston 0-2 (1f), D O’Connor, D Strong, J O’Loughlin, G Walsh, K Meaney, R O’Connor 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: S Cluxton; P McMahon, J Cooper, P McMahon; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J Small; B Fenton, MD Macauley; C Kilkenny, K McManamon, D Connolly; P Mannion, D Rock, B Brogan. Subs: M Fitzsimons for McMahon (45), C Costello for Brogan (51), C O’Callaghan for Mannion (56), D Daly for O’Sullivan (59), E Lowndes for Cooper (62), E O’Gara for Rock (63)
LAOIS: G Brody; M Timmons, P Cotter, S Attride; D O’Connor, D Strong, G Dillon; J O’Loughlin, B Quigley; E O’Carroll, P Cahillane, C Begley; D Kingston, G Walsh, C Meredith. Subs: K Meaney for O’Carroll (30), N Donoher for Walsh (h-t), R Munnelly for Dillon (47), A Farrell for Cahillane (62), R O’Connor for Quigley (65), G Hanrahan for Cotter (65).
REF: C Brannigan (Down)