Dublin took control after the restart to record a 1-17 to 1-10 victory over Laois at Parnell Park this evening.
At the end of a keenly-contested opening period, the hosts led by the minimum margin, 1-7 to 0-9, with senior star Colm Cronin netting the goal in the twelfth minute.
In what was the first game in this year’s U21 HC, the O’Moore County landed the first two points courtesy of a brace of frees from their county senior ace Stephen ‘Picky’ Maher inside the first two minutes and St Brigid’s clubman Paul Winters opened Dublin’s account from a third-minute free.
After PJ Scully (Borris-in-Ossory-Kilcotton) and Winters (free) had exchanged points, another Maher effort from a placed ball made it double scores after seven minutes, 0-4 to 0-2.
Cronin’s major was followed by a brilliant long-distance free from Winters and the Dubs accelerated into a 1-4 to 0-4 lead after 17 minutes, Oisin O’Rorke slotting their fourth point.
Ciaran Collier and Ben Conroy kept the midlanders ticking over on the scoreboard but a third Winters free had the Metropolitans two points to the good once more. Cha Dwyer’s point was cancelled out by Winters (free) but the visitors drew level a minute into first-half injury time thanks to scores from substitute Podge Lalor and Campion.
However, there was still time for Winters to strike his fifth point – the one that would separate the teams at the interval.
With a purple patch that culminated in ten successive scores after the teams re-emerged, the winners put the game firmly to bed.
Kilmacud Crokes clubman O’Rorke bagged the first point after the restart to double the Dubs’ lead. Laois had had a lucky escape when their crossbar was rattled…
Cuala’s Cronin made it 1-9 to 0-9 five minutes into the second period and that lead was preserved when a 21-metre free from Maher was saved and cleared. When Winters whacked over a 41st-minute free, four points separated the teams for the first time.
The O’Moore County received a telling blow when Willie Young was dismissed for a second yellow card offence and the Dubs piled on the misery with further points from O’Rourke and Winters (two frees) to lead by seven with 14 minutes left, 1-13 to 0-9.
Cian Boland and Cronin made it nine points without reply for the rampant hosts and Tom Devlin supplied their tenth consecutive score. The travelling supporters were given something to cheer when substitute Tadhg Dowling found the net seven minutes from time – their first score of the second half – but Dublin replied through Cronin off his left before Maher’s free sailed over to leave it 1-17 to 1-10 with three minutes to play.
There were no more scores as the Dubs eventually eased through to the next round, where they will be away from home against either Carlow