Laois 1-19 Dublin 0-30
National Hurling League Division 1B Round 2
Donal Burke was Dublin’s tallisman yet again as his 18 points proved the difference in O’Moore Park this evening.
Cheddar Plunkett’s side were far more competitive than six days ago against Wexford but they conceded far too many frees with 16 of Burke’s tally coming from placed balls.
It is a defeat that leaves Laois at the bottom of the table but they will be hoping to build upon the improvements made here for next weekend’s visit of Clare.
Laois played with the aid of the breeze in the first half and unlike in Wexford Park last week, they made far better use of it this time.
Paddy Purcell scored after 12 seconds with Ciaran Collier, PJ Scully and Cha Dwyer following suit.
Dublin had only an Eamon Dillon point to show for the opening stages but they soon grew into the game.
Laois hit 21 wides in Wexford last week and that side of their game began to creep in again as they hit three in a row to stem their early momentum.
Donal Burke was Laois’s tormenter in chief in the Leinster quarter final last October when he scored 1-16 and he was at it again here – landing a succession of frees.
But Laois kept up to their work with Paddy Purcell getting a second and Cha Dwyer scoring a splendid sideline puck.
Dublin wing back Daire Gray levelled matters though at the first water break to leave it 0-7 apiece.
Dublin took the lead for the first time on the resumption of play and they pushed on with Burke taking his first half tally to nine points.
They led by four points as we entered first half injury time but Ross King popped up with two late points to leave the scoreline reading 0-13 to 0-11 at half time.
PJ Scully and Donal Burke traded a brace of frees on the resumption of play and the latter added three more before the 44th minute to take his tally to 14 and give Dublin a five point lead.
Laois needed a score to settle them and Scully obliged with his fifth free of the game. But Burke, wing back Sean Moran, midfielder Conor Burke and corner back Andrew Dunphy pointed to leave Dublin 0-22 to 0-14 ahead after 50 minutes.
The game looked to be drifting away from Laois until a moment of brilliance before the water break gave Laois hope.
A high ball from Ciaran Collier was broken down by PJ Scully before eventually falling to Cha Dwyer. He was instantly bottled up by full back Eoghan O’Donnell and keeper Alan Nolan but with his back to goal, he flicked the sliotar over his head and into the net. That cut the gap to four – 0-22 to 1-15.
Ross King and Conor Burke traded scores at the start of the final quarter but Donal Burke restored Dublin’s five point lead after 63 minutes with his 16th point – and just his second from play.
Ross King and Burke traded frees and then Burke grabbed his eighteenth point as we headed for injury time with six between them.
Laois needed goals to get anything from the game but they didn’t come as Dublin ran in a host of late points to leave eight between them in the end.
Laois will be back in action next week when they face Clare in O’Moore Park next Sunday.
SCORERS – Laois: PJ Scully 0-6 (all frees), Ross King 0-6 (four frees), Cha Dywer 1-3 (one sideline), Paddy Purcell 0-2, Ciaran Collier 0-1, Enda Rowland 0-1 (free), Dublin: Donal Burke 0-18 (fourteen frees, one 65), Andrew Dunphy 0-2, Conor Burke 0-2, Riain McBride 0-1, Eamon Dillon 0-1, Daire Gray 0-1, Cian Boland 0-1, Sean Moran 0-1, Paul Crummey 0-1, Davy Keogh 0-1, Fergal Whitely 0-1
LAOIS: Enda Rowland; Diarmaid Conway, Sean Downey, Donnchadh Hartnett; Jack Kelly, Matthew Whelan, Podge Delaney; Fiachra C-Fennell, Paddy Purcell; James Ryan, Cha Dwyer, Ciaran Collier; PJ Scully, Ross King, Aaron Dunphy. Subs: James Keyes for Dunphy (46), Ciaran Comerford for Ryan and Eoin Gaughan for Scully (both 53), Colm Stapleton for C-Fennell and Ciaran McEvoy for Delaney (inj) (both 67)
DUBLIN: Alan Nolan; Paddy Smyth, Eoghan O’Donnell, Andrew Dunphy; Daire Gray, Liam Rushe, Sean Moran; Conor Burke, James Madden; Danny Sutcliffe, Chris Crummey, Ronan Hayes; Donal Burke, Eamon Dillon, Cian Boland. Subs: Oisin O’Rorke for Boland and Davy Keogh for Dillon (both 50), Riain McBride for Madden (54), Fergal Whitely for Hayes (57), Jake Malone for Moran (65), Paul Crummey for C Crummey and John Hetherton for Sutcliffe (both 69)
Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)