Thursday 17 January 2019

Dublin edge Laois to advance to Walsh Cup semi-final as Mattie Kenny makes it three wins from three

Dublin 1-18 Laois 1-16

6 January 2019; Fintan McGibb of Dublin in action against Eric Killeen of Laois during the Walsh Cup Round 3 match between Laois and Dublin at O'Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
6 January 2019; Fintan McGibb of Dublin in action against Eric Killeen of Laois during the Walsh Cup Round 3 match between Laois and Dublin at O'Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Conor McKeon

MATTIE Kenny made it three wins from three Walsh Cup matches in Portlaoise today, with his Dublin team beating Laois by 1-18 to 1-16 to set up a meeting with his own county, Galway, in next Sunday’s semi-final.

After 15 minutes here, Dublin appeared to be cruising to their third win of the competition and a semi-final meeting with Galway next Sunday.

They led by 1-6 to 0-3 by then and were better in every line of the pitch.

They scored a goal after four minutes when Eamonn Dillon collected a smart first-time bat-down from John Hetherton and finished from close quarters.

Cian Boland, who sent the ball in for that goal, quickly added two points from play while Hetherton struck his placed-balls well in that early stage.

Laois played with five forwards and Donnacha Hartnett dropped into their defence as a sweeper and though the Mountmellick man cut out a couple of long deliveries, it left Seán Moran free to collect and play an amount of ball from the Dublin defence.

Then, for no easily detectable reasons, Dublin faded completely.

Aaron Dunphy followed up his two long range points with a goal after Alan Nolan prevented PJ Scully from scoring and Eddie Brennan’s side scored 1-5 without reply between the 19th and 34th minute to go two points up.

It took a late brace from play from Hetherton to send Dublin in level.

The teams continued along the lines of their newfound equilibrium in the second half, although Chris Crummey brought new impetus to the Dublin half-back line.

And a run of four points in succession – including two from substitute, Feargal Whitely – took Dublin back into the lead.

Laois pressed late on for an equaliser but Moran provided a safety and Oisín O’Rorke sealed it with his second off the bench.

SCORERS – Dublin: J Hetherton 0-7 (4f), E Dillon 1-1, C Boland, J Malone, F Whitely, O O’Rorke 0-2 each, S Moran (f), C Crummey 0-1 each. Laois: PJ Scully 0-7 (4f), A Dunphy 1-3, M Kavanagh (1f), E Rowland (2f) 0-2 each, E Lyons, S Maher 0-1 each.

DUBLIN:  A Nolan; D Gray, E O’Donnell, J Madden; S Barrett, S Moran, T Connolly; R McBride, J Malone; F McGibb, J Hetherton, F McGibb; E Dillon, L Rushe, D Burke. Subs: L Gannon for Barrett (16 inj), F Whitely for Boland (30 inj), C Crummey for Connolly (h-t), O O’Rorke for Burke (43), D Keogh for O’Donnell (48), G Whelan for McBride (50), C Conway for Rushe (53), C Burke for Dillon (62)

LAOIS: E Rowland; P Delaney, M Whelan, J Phelan; J Kelly, R Mullaney, E Killeen; D Hartnett, P Purcell; A Dunphy, E Lyons, S Maher; M Kavanagh, PJ Scully, E Gaughan. Subs: S Downey for Gaughan (51), C Phelan for Kavanagh (58), J Cranney for Killeen (69), N Foyle for Lyons (70)

REF: M Murtagh (Westmeath)

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