Wednesday 21 February 2018

Supersub Basquel guides Dubs into final

Dublin 2-17 Laois 2-5

Dublin's Con O'Callaghan tries to avoid a challenge from Laois's Adam Campion Photo: Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE
Dublin's Con O'Callaghan tries to avoid a challenge from Laois's Adam Campion Photo: Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE
Laois's Evan O'Carroll tries to pass Dublin's Cillian O'Shea Photo: Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE
Laois's Aaron Cooney claims the ball ahead of Dublin's Con O'Callaghan Photo: Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE

Rónán Mac Lochlainn

An inspired second-half display by Colm Basquel at Parnell Park eased Dublin into the final.

Less than 48 hours after playing a pivotal role as Ballyboden St Enda’s claimed the Andy Merrigan Cup, Basquel arrived on the scene as a 37th-minute replacement for Michael Deegan and his superbly-taken goal two minutes later helped his side pull away in the final quarter.

That his contribution was required reflected the difficulties his side experienced in general, and the Dubs will need a marked improvement to beat a formidable Kildare outfit on Wednesday week. 

The return of Basquel alongside club-mate Shane Clayton and Eoin Murchan will help in that regard with Dublin looking far more fluent upon the introduction of that talented trio.  

The visitors struggled initially in attack but an excellent solo point by Nigel Murphy preceded a wonderful solo goal by Evan O’Carroll in the 17th minute as he cut inside a lax Dublin defence before leaving Lorcan Molloy helpless from ten yards.

Sadly, from their perspective, any momentum that score may have generated was instantly nullified as Con O’Callaghan burst through before finding Chris Sallier, who fired a low shot beyond Aaron Cooney as Dublin led 1-8 to 1-4 at the interval.

A Michael Keogh point within two minutes of the restart trimmed Laois’ deficit before the contest became scrappy, with Brian Daly dismissed for the visitors in the 36th minute after an altercation with Deegan.

Before Dublin could avail of their numerical advantage, Tom Lahiff was also shown the line after tangling with Liam Knowles.

But then Dublin played their trump card in the shape of Basquel’s introduction. His goal was as impeccably finished as the one he scored against Castlebar, and further points by O’Callaghan and Basquel left daylight between the sides.

An unconvincing home defence were punished at the end of the third quarter as lively substitute Tom Shiels pounced for a smart finish from close range but that was as close as they would get to getting back into the contest.

Scorers – Dublin: C Basquel 1-3, C O’Callaghan 0-5 (2fs), C Sallier 1-1, G O’Reilly 0-3, M Cahilan 0-2 each, M Deegan, L Molloy (‘45’), S McMahon 0-1 each. Laois: E O’Carroll 1-2 (0-1f), T Shiels 1-1, N Murphy, M Keogh 0-1 each. 

Dublin – L Molloy; E Smith, S McMahon, D Monaghan; M Cahilan, C O’Shea, B Howard; A Foley, K Deeley; T Lahiff, C O’Callaghan, G O’Reilly; C Sallier, M Deegan, D Spillane. Subs: C Basquel for Deegan (37), S Clayton for Deeley (BC, 45), A Murchan for Spillane (48), P Small for Sallier (52), D McIlgorm for Foley (54), T O’Sullivan for O’Callaghan (62).    

Laois – A Cooney; L Knowles, P O’Sullivan, A Campion; E Buggie, T Collins, D O’Reilly; R Dowling, E O’Carroll; N Murphy, B Daly, D Hickey; M Keogh, E Lowry, S Moore. Subs: T Shiels for Moore (25, BC), A Dowling for Buggie (h-t), C Dunne for R Dowling (42), E Keane for Daly (55), D Doyle for O’Carroll (61).  

Ref – F Smyth (Offaly)

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