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Battling Laois just fall short as Dublin hold on for Leinster victory in Round 1

Laois hurlers general

Laois 2-15 Dublin 1-20
Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Round 1 

A battling Laois comeback just fell short as Dublin held on to defeat them in Parnell Park this evening.

Dublin looked set for a comfortable victory when sub Alex Considine rattled the net with 61 minutes on the clock and then soon went seven ahead.

But Laois refused to give up and actually had an opportunity to win it with almost the final puck but Enda Rowland’s close range free was blocked out.

The first half saw Dublin miss a lot of chances and Laois take the majority of theirs.

The hosts had 11 first half wides to Laois’s four and that inaccuracy allowed Laois to lead at half time despite only scoring 1-7.

The opening exchanges were even with Ross King and PJ Scully pointing for Laois while Donal Burke and Chris Crummy did likewise for Dublin.

But Laois struck the front for the first time in the tenth minute when the got the half’s only goal.

Ciaran McEvoy won a puck-out and fired in a shot that was batted down by Dublin keeper Sean Brennan only for Mark Dowling to slam home from close range.

Dublin responded well to that set back though as Burke hit three frees and Fergal Whitely also pointed to give them the lead after 20 minutes.

They almost had a goal too when Donnacha Ryan showed the Laois defence a clean pair of heels but keeper Enda Rowland did well to deny his effort.

Laois recovered with a free and an excellent point from play from Scully before keeper Rowland turned scorer with a monster free from range.

Burke responded with two frees but PJ Scully had the final saw as his free left Laois 1-7 to 0-9 ahead at half time.

Dublin improved in the second half and pushed on with their accuracy improving.

Laois kept pace with them until sub Alex Considine struck for a goal in the 61st minute.

James Madden and Paul Crummy added points as Dublin looked like they would cruise to victory.

But credit to Laois, they never gave up. James Keyes and Cha Dwyer kept them in it before Paddy Purcell won a free on the 21 metre line.

Keeper Enda Rowland drilled it to the net and it was game on when Fiachra C-Fennell won another free in the fourth minute of added time.

This time Rowland was blocked and Dublin held on. Laois now face Kilkenny next Saturday night.

SCORERS – Laois: PJ Scully 0-8 (six frees), Enda Rowland 1-2 (all frees), Mark Dowling 1-0, James Keyes 0-2, Cha Dwyer, Ross King and Aidan Corby 0-1 each Dublin: Donal Burke 0-13 (eight frees), Fergal Whitely 0-3, Alex Considine 1-0, Chris Crummy, James Madden, Paul Crummy and Ronan Hayes 0-1 each

LAOIS: Enda Rowland; Donnchadh Hartnett, Ciaran McEvoy, Sean Downey; Podge Delaney, Liam O’Connell, Ryan Mullaney; Jack Kelly, Fiachra C Fennell; Cha Dwyer, Paddy Purcell, James Keyes; Ross King, PJ Scully, Mark Dowling. Subs: Aidan Corby for King (48, inj), Pauric Dunne for Delaney (55, inj), Brandon McGinley for Dowling (63), Ciaran Byrne for Dwyer (70)

DUBLIN: Sean Brennan; John Bellew, Eoghan O’Donnell, Cian O’Callaghan; Donnacha Ryan, Paddy Smyth, James Madden; Conor Burke, Chris Crummy; Donal Burke, Davy Keogh, Danny Sutcliffe; Eamonn Dillon, Fergal Whitely, Ronan Hayes. Subs: Aidan Mellet for Keogh (blood 33, reversed 70), Alex Consideine for Dillon (60), Paul Crummy for Sutcliffe (68) Shane Barrett for Smyth (69), Aidan  for Whitely (70)

Referee: Liam Gordon (Galway)

SEE ALSO – Preliminary Leinster quarter final ahead for Laois minors following narrow defeat to Offaly

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.