Tuesday 23 April 2019

Dublin survive Laois scare to keep League hopes alive at Parnell Park

DUBLIN 0-13 LAOIS 0-11

Rian McBride of Dublin in action against Seán Downey of Laois
Rian McBride of Dublin in action against Seán Downey of Laois

Conor McKeon

DUBLIN survived a scare amid atrocious conditions in Parnell Park today to beat Laois by 0-13 to 0-11 in the last match of their Division 1B programme.

Offaly's victory over Carlow means Laois avoid this year's relegation play-off and have qualified for this year's Division 1 quarter-final.

Dublin meanwhile, could still finish top of 1B although they must wait until the postponed Waterford v Galway match is played.

This one nearly followed suit.

Referee Liam Gordon inspected the pitch twice before deciding the game would go ahead.

By throw-in, the playing surface in Parnell Park had already cut up under the studs of the respective teams' warm-ups and the underfoot conditions meant players stopping or turning direction inevitably ended up on the ground.

It was Laois however, who took more comfortably to the conditions.

They went 0-6 to 0-3 up after 13 minutes with six different scorers.

Indeed they would have been further ahead were it not for a spate of excellent saves from Dublin goalkeeper, Seán Brennan.

In what was his first start of the League, Brennan denied Stephen ‘Picky' Maher with a close-range reflex save after the Laois forward flicked a short-dropping shot towards goal.

After 20 minutes, the Cuala ‘keeper sprang to Dublin's rescue again.

This time, Cha Dwyer sneaked clear of the defensive cover and struck sweetly but Brennan got down quick enough to repel the shot.

He also stopped one from Mark Kavanagh at the foot of his near post just as half-time loomed.

Dublin were guilty of over-elaboration at times in that half but a couple of late David Treacy frees cut their arrears to a single point by half-time.

They went level for the first time since the second minute of the game when Oisín O'Rorke pointed with his first touch after coming on as a substitute for Ryan and nosed ahead a minute later when Shane Barrett scored from the wing.

That merely started a tit-for-tat exchange up until the 57th minute when Laois were reduced to 14 men.

Dwyer, who had been booked in the first half, was shown a second yellow after clashing with Treacy, who was also booked for the exchange.

Still, Laois led until the 65th minute when a rare moment of cohesions saw Liam Rushe pick out Danny Sutcliffe, who scored the equaliser in what was the first shot on goal  for either team in 13 minutes.

From the resultant puck out, Sutcliffe turned over possession and put Dublin ahead.

A late Seán Moran '65 gave Dublin their biggest lead all day and ensured a scrappy victory.

SCORERS – Dublin: D Sutcliffe, D Treacy (3f) 0-3 each, O O'Rorke, S Moran (1f, 1 '65) 0-2 each, S Barrett, J Hetherton, C Boland 0-1 each. Laois: M Kavanagh 0-4 (3f), C Dwyer 0-2, E Rowland (f), S Downey, A Dunphy, P Purcell, W Dunphy 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: S Brennan; P Smyth, E O'Donnell, J Madden; D Gray, S Moran, S Barrett; J Malone, R McBride; J Hetherton, D Sutcliffe, D Treacy; P Ryan, L Rushe, D Burke. Subs: O O'Rorke for Ryan (h-t), C Boland for Malone (47), E Dillon for Burke (47), R Hayes for Hetherton (53), F Whitely for Treacy (66)

LAOIS: E Rowland; J Phelan, M Whelan, D Hartnett; P Delaney, R  Mullaney, L Cleere; S Downey, W Dunphy; A Dunphy, M Kavanagh, C Dwyer; P Purcell, N Foyle, S Maher. Subs: S Bergin for W Dunphy (23 inj), J Kelly for Maher (52), P Keating for Foyle (62), C Phelan for Downey (73)

REF: L Gordon (Galway)

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