DUBLIN 4-17 LAOIS 0-19
A strong opening half paved the way for Dublin’s convincing 10-point victory over Laois in Saturday evening’s All-Ireland SHC qualifier at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise.
First half goals form Mark Schutte (two) and Conal Keaney steered Dublin to a five-point interval advantage, 3-9 to 0-13.
Both Schutte’s goals came in the opening seven minutes and it was the ruthless early start by Ger Cunningham’s men which ultimately separated the sides.
Dublin also restarted well in the second half with points from Paul Ryan (free), Conal Keaney and Eamonn Dillion to move 3-12 to 0-13.
The second half petered out for a long period and Dublin’s shooting went a little wayward but they finished the game off in style with a Ryan free, following a foul on Ryan O’Dwyer, a goal from sub David O’Callaghan and Daire Plunkett, another late second half replacement, to run out winners.
The draw for the next round of the qualifiers takes place on Monday morning.
A good start is half the battle and the Dubs certainly made a storming start with two Mark Schutte goals inside the opening seven minutes.
Inside the opening 30 seconds the big Cuala man beat Laois keeper Eoin Reilly from close range.
His full-forward colleague Conal Keaney added a point before Willie Hyland opened the home side’s account.
Dublin wing-back Shane Barrett fired over a fine Dublin point before Mark Schutte added his second goal to propel Ger Cunningham’s men into a 2-2 to 0-1 lead.
Laois battled back with scores from Joe Fitzpatrick and a Zane Keenan free.
Dublin looked to have added a third goal in the 15th minute when Keaney rattled the net but was whistled back by ref Johnny Ryan who elected he was guilty of holding a Laois defender’s hurley before fielding the sliotar.
By the 23rd minute Laois got on level terms following points from Joe Campion, Willie Hyland, Cha Dwyer and Keenan.
Dublin needed to respond to quell the Laois rising and they did with scores from a long-range Paul Ryan free and Eamonn Dillon free following good graft from Keaney.
A flurry of Dublin scores just after the 30-minute marker pushed Dublin six points clear when Mark Schutte and Ryan O’Dwyer pointed before the influential Keaney goaled, the assist coming from Mark Schutte.
A Keenan free and Willie Hyland point from play cut into Dublin’s advantage before Dillon struck a fine individual score in first half added time to give his side a 3-9 to 0-13 interval lead.
SCORERS – Dublin: M Schutte 2-1, C Keaney 1-3, P Ryan 0-5 (0-4f), E Dillon 0-4, D O’Callaghan 1-0, S Barrett, R O’Dwyer, J McCaffrey, D Plunkett 0-1 each. Laois: Z Keenan 0-6 (0-5f), W Hyland 0-4, C Dwyer 0-3, J Fitzpatrick, J Campion, S Maher, M Whelan, N Foyle, T Delaney 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: G Maguire: N Corcoran, C O’Callaghan, P Schuttte; C Crummey, L Rushe, S Barrett; J McCaffrey, R O’Dwyer; C Boland, E Dillon, D Sutcliffe; P Ryan, C Keaney, M Schutte. Subs: S Durkin for Barrett (52), D O’Callghan for Boland (61), D Treacy for Ryan (70), D Plunkett for Sutcliffe (71).
LAOIS: E Reilly; P Whelan, C Healy, B Stapleton; J Fitzpatrick, M Whelan, T Delaney; D Palmer, P Purcell; S Maher, Z Keenan, C Dwyer; T Fitzgerald, W Hyland, J Campion. Subs: JA Delaney for Stapleton (ht), N Foyle for Fitzgerald (44), J Walsh for Purcell (44), PJ Scully for P Whelan (47), B Conroy for Maher (69).
REF: J Ryan (Tipperary).