Home Sport GAA Laois hurlers face relegation battle as Dublin prove far too strong

Laois hurlers face relegation battle as Dublin prove far too strong

O'Moore Park
Laois 0-17 Dublin 3-23

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A

The Laois hurlers will face off against Antrim in a relegation playoff following today’s loss to Dublin in O’Moore Park.

And that game will be in an Antrim venue as the Ulster county had fewer home games in this season’s regular Allianz League campaign. An exact venue will be confirmed during the week but they have played one of their games in Corrigan Park and the other in Cushendall.

Both sides came into this one with a win each and the permutations were fairly straight forward. The prize for the winners was a quarter-final place and safety from relegation. The loser would have to face Antrim to battle against the drop.

While Laois played against the breeze in the opening half, Dublin still looked comfortably the better side.

They hit five points without reply in the opening six minutes and Laois had to wait until the ninth minute for their first score, a nice effort from Cha Dwyer.

Yet after a very disappointing campaign up to now, Dublin weren’t letting up on this occasion.

The impressive Donal Burke and Ross King traded points but Dublin kept tagging on scores with Ronan Hayes, Fiontan McGibb and Conal Keaney all prominent. And Ryan O’Dwyer got the game’s first goal when he batted past Enda Rowland.

At one stage Dublin led 1-12 to 0-3 and though Laois rallied briefly with three points in a row – from Neil Foyle, Rowland and Dwyer, and could have had a goal only for an Alan Nolan save on Mark Kavanagh – the visitors were 1-14 to 0-6 up at the break.

Laois got the first two points of the second half from Ben Conroy and Dwyer and they hit five on the trot in the mid part of the half – the pick of those a monstrous effort from PJ Scully from his own half.

But Dublin always had enough to spare and two late goals from Ronan Hayes meant they won by 15 points in the end.

SCORERS – Laois: PJ Scully 0-6 (5f), Cha Dwyer 0-3, Ross King 0-3 (2f), Neil Foyle 0-2, Enda Rowland 0-1, Ben Conroy 0-1, Paddy Purcell 0-1. Dublin: Donal Burke 0-11 (6f, 1 ’65), Ronan Hayes 2-4, Ryan O’Dwyer 1-1, Fiontan McGibb 0-2, Conal Keaney 0-1, Danny Sutcliffe 0-1, Johnny McCaffrey 0-1, Paul Ryan 0-1, Cian McBride 0-1

LAOIS: Enda Rowland (Abbeyleix); Joe Phelan (Camross), Leigh Bergin (Shanahoe), Lee Cleere (Clough-Ballacolla); Podge Lawlor (Ballinakill), Matthew Whelan (Borris-Kilcotton), Eric Killeen (Rathdowney-Errill); James Ryan (Rathdowney-Errill), Paddy Purcell (Rathdowney-Errill); Ben Conroy (Slieve Bloom), Cha Dwyer (Ballinakill), Willie Dunphy (Clough-Ballacolla); Ross King (Rathdowney-Errill), Neil Foyle (Borris-Kilcotton), Mark Kavanagh (Rathdowney-Errill). Subs: Colm Stapleton for Cleere (20), PJ Scully for Kavanagh (33), Cian Taylor for Killeen (33), Eanna Lyons for Purcell (69), Conor Phelan for J Phelan 969)

DUBLIN: Alan Nolan; Paddy Smyth, Bill O’Carroll, Eoghan O’Donnell; Shane Barrett, Chris Crummey, John McCaffrey; Cillian Costello, Fiontan McGibb; Donal Burke, Conal Keaney, Danny Sutcliffe; Ronan Hayes, Ryan O’Dwyer, Paul Winters. Subs: James Madden for Barrett (inj – 24), Cian O’Sullivan for O’Dwyer (47), Paul Ryan for Winters (58), Rian McBride for Keaney (63), Cian McBride for Costello (67)

SEE ALSO – Laois footballers do just enough to win in London 

Previous articleStradbally bow out of Paddy Cotter Cup as Monksland prove too strong
Next articleGoals key as Laois camogie team claim important win in Derry
Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.