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Eugene McGee: Same old story as dubs get job done

Dublin achieved what they set out to do against Laois at Croke Park yesterday by getting into the next round of the Leinster championship.

In terms of the 2011 All-Ireland title race, that is all there really is to say about the game. However, we will try to tease things out a bit more.

So, where do we start? Well, we have seen this kind of performance from Dublin -- largely involving the same players -- at regular intervals.

Off to Croke Park every year in June, dispose of lesser teams from Leinster, move on quickly to the next training session, listen to the complaints from the fans and some media and hope to impress more next time out.

This goes on until Dublin reach the knockout stages of the Sam Maguire competition and that is usually when things start going wrong -- as the last seven years have shown.

But, in sport, hope really does spring eternal, so all involved with the Dublin team are entitled to dream of seeing the famous trophy being carried shoulder high into the Mansion House on Monday, September 19, 2011.

Granted, anybody unfortunate enough to have paid good money to attend Croke Park yesterday might think this dream points to a nightmare ahead, but let's not forget that this Dublin team will almost certainly be in the closing stages of the championship, so the earlier rounds of either the Leinster or the qualifiers are largely irrelevant. So, carry on Dublin.

In my opinion, almost nothing new emerged from this Dublin performance, as opposed to recent years. Lots of players did excellent things, notably Bryan Cullen, the Brogans, Barry Cahill, Rory O'Carroll and Stephen Cluxton, and these formed the basis for the victory over Laois.

Of course, we had plenty of the old failings too such as bad wides, looseness at midfield and indecisiveness on the part of several players at times.


But a very impressive period of 20 minutes in the middle of the second half, during which Dublin scored seven unanswered points, showed at least an element of the killer streak that Dublin teams have often lacked in recent years, so that must be marked as progress.

This was a very poor performance from Laois, bearing in mind the number of players they have with large reputations.

They never looked as if they were capable of winning the game even when they narrowed the gap to just two points in the 40th minute.

Instead, there was a virtual Laois collapse at that stage when Dublin scored their seven unanswered points with Laois in a state of total chaos.

Irish Independent