Dublin cruise past Laois to seal semi-final slot
Dublin 2-20 Laois 1-9
Dublin advanced to the last four in the Walsh Cup yesterday as they easily accounted for Laois in O'Moore Park.
First-half goals from Fiontain McGibb and Paul Ryan had Ger Cunningham's men well in control by the break, and with little resistance from Laois after that they coasted into the semi-finals.
Dublin had the better of the opening exchanges, despite Laois taking the lead through PJ Scully in the second minute.
There was still a point between the sides five minutes in when the first goal of the game arrived, as Dublin surged in front.
McGibb came charging through the Laois defence and once he had the room, he shot low past Eoin Reilly to rattle the net. Darragh O'Connell and Paul Ryan (free) pushed them further ahead, before Eamon Dillon was inches from a second goal when his shot rebounded off the post.
Dillon pointed moments later as Dublin now lead by five, but Laois quickly drew level. PJ Scully fired over a couple of frees before Tadgh Dowling slipped away from Robert Hardy and then found the bottom corner, leaving the scores at 1-5 each.
Laois failed to build on their comeback though, and Dublin assumed control once more in the run-up to half-time.
Darren Maher's foul on Chris Bennett saw the visitors awarded a penalty, and Ryan's shot nestled in the back of the net despite Eoin Reilly getting his hurl to it.
From there, Dublin charged ahead, as the impressive Dillon hit three points in a row, while Niall McMorrow, Liam Rushe and David Treacy also got in on the action to see Dublin lead 2-12 to 1-7 at the interval.
With the Dubs having wind advantage in the second half, Laois had their work cut out for them if they wanted to get back into the game, and it proved a bridge too far for them.
The hosts managed just two points in the second half and ran up more than ten wides, while Dublin picked off scores at their ease.
They managed eight points in the second half from seven different scorers, with both teams accepting the outcome of the game long before the final whistle.
It's a home date with Galway up next for Dublin in the semi-finals, while for Laois, much work needs to be done ahead of a Valentine's date with Kerry in the first round of the league on February 14.
SCORERS - Dublin: P Ryan 1-2 (1-0p, 2f); E Dillon 0-4; F McGibb 1-1; N McMorrow 0-3 (1f); C Crummy, D O'Connell, C Bennett 0-2 each; L Rushe, C McBride, D Treacy, S Treacy 0-1 each. Laois: PJ Scully 0-5 (3f), T Dowling 1-0, B Reddin 0-2, C Stapleton, N Foyle 0-1 each.
LAOIS - E Reilly; C Healy, J Walsh, D Maher; L Bergin, N Foyle, R Mullaney; C Stapleton, M Whelan; C Collier, B Reddin, P Purcell; E Fennelly, T Dowling, PJ Scully. Subs: M Kavanagh for Dowling (53), O Carroll for Bergin (53), P Lalor for Mullaney (56), J Phelan for Maher (56), B O'Mara for Stapleton (65).
DUBLIN - G Maguire; J Boland, R Hardy, O Gough; C Crummy, L Rushe, J McCaffrey; C McBride, D O'Connell; D Tracey, F McGibb, P Ryan; S Treacy, E Dillon, C Bennett. Subs: N McMorrow for Ryan (28, inj), D O'Callaghn for Dillon (49), M Schutte for Bennett (54), F O Riain Broin for Hardy (58), D Plunkett for McBride (63).
Ref - M O'Sullivan (Kilkenny).