Sunday 25 August 2019

Shock of the summer as Laois stun Dublin and book All Ireland quarter final date with Tipperary

Laois 1-22 Dublin 0-23

Pádraig Delaney, centre right, and Aaron Dunphy, centre left, both of Laois, celebrate with team-mates and supporters
Pádraig Delaney, centre right, and Aaron Dunphy, centre left, both of Laois, celebrate with team-mates and supporters
Vincent Hogan

Vincent Hogan

Laois hurlers caused the shock of the summer in O'Moore Park today, storming into their first All-Ireland quarter-final since 1979 with a famous victory over Dublin.

Their first championship win against the Dubs in fourteen years came just one week after their Joe McDonagh Cup win against Westmeath, most assuming the timing would penalise them cruelly against Mattie Kenny's well-rested city team.

But the home side were relentless, leading virtually all the way until Sean Moran's 20-metre free deep in injury-time was deflected over the Laois crossbar, triggering scenes of wild celebration in the Portlaoise venue. 

Dublin always understood that the momentum of their McDonagh Cup win would give Laois some early impetus, but they seemed a mite surprised by the extent of it.

7 July 2019; Ryan Mullaney of Laois celebrates with supporters following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ryan Mullaney of Laois celebrates with supporters following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Laois players, including Ross King, centre, celebrate following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at OMoore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ryan Mullaney of Laois celebrates with supporters following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ryan Mullaney of Laois celebrates with supporters following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ryan Mullaney of Laois celebrates with supporters following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ryan Mullaney of Laois celebrates with supporters following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at OMoore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ryan Mullaney of Laois celebrates with supporters following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at OMoore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ryan Mullaney of Laois celebrates with supporters following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ryan Mullaney of Laois celebrates with supporters following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Pádraig Delaney, centre right, and Aaron Dunphy, centre left, both of Laois, celebrates with team-mates and supporters following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Willie Dunphy of Laois celebrates scoring a second half point during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at OMoore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Laois manager Eddie Brennan and Ross King, left, during the celebrations after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ryan Mullaney of Laois celebrates after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Jack Kelly of Laois celebrates after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ross King of Laois celebrates wih supporters after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Laois manager Eddie Brennan celebrates with his players and supporters after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois last July. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Paddy Purcell of Laois celebrates wih supporters after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at OMoore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ross King of Laois, centre, celebrates following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ross King of Laois, centre, celebrates with Conor Phelan, left, and Laois manager Eddie Brennan, right, following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Paddy Purcell of Laois celebrates wih supporters after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Ross King of Laois, centre, celebrates with Conor Phelan, left, and Laois manager Eddie Brennan, right, following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at OMoore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
7 July 2019; Laois players, including Ross King, centre, celebrate following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship preliminary round quarter-final match between Laois and Dublin at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise, Laois. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Because Eddie Brennan's men were fired up for battle in a way that, palpably, discomfited the Dubs from first whistle.  With both teams deploying sweepers, the Laois exponent - John Lennon - became a launch pad for relentless, early attacks towards the Dublin goal.

Brennan was using Willie Dunphy and Ross King as a two-man inside line, Charles Dwyer floating around the middle third to supplement the Herculean efforts of team-captain, Paddy Purcell, in midfield.

It made for a lightning start from the O'Moore county, decorated by a ninth minute Aaron Dunphy goal that put them 1-3 to 0-2 in front.

The goal was created by brilliant work from Willie Dunphy, somehow preventing the ball trickling out for a wide and somehow working the ball inside towards his namesake, who batted past Alan Nolan in the Dublin goal.

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It was no more than the Laois men deserved with only Ronan Hayes making early headway in the Dublin attack, sniping home two early points despite the close attention of home full-back, Matthew Whelan.

If anything, the goal seemed to startle Dublin who, despite scoring three unanswered points between the 19th and 21st minutes, were still struggling to come to terms with the intensity of Laois's work-rate.

Mark Kavanagh was proving faultless on the frees for Laois and, when Eamonn Dillon broke through for a 28th minute goal chance, Enda Rowland made the near-post save to ensure the Dubs still couldn't get any real traction into the town-end goal.

Points from Dwyer and wing-back, Jack Kelly, drew huge roars from the home crowd as Laois then stretched 1-12 to 0-8 clear before points from Danny Sutcliffe and Conal Keaney closed the gap to five points at the half-time break.

Tiredness was always going to be a threat to Laois after last week's exertions and the worry now was that they would tie up in the intense heat of O'Moore Park.

That seemed especially likely when Dublin levelled the game 0-18 to 1-15 with fifteen minutes still to run, but these Laois men proved themselves made of stern stuff.

Two monster frees from goalkeeper, Enda Rowland, kept their noses in front and the noise was absolutely deafening when Treacy's late free failed to find the Laois net.

Brennan's men now face Tipperary next Sunday in their first All-Ireland quarter-final for forty years.  

SCORERS:  Laois - M Kavanagh 0-9 (0-7 frees, 0-1 65), A Dunphy 1-2, W Dunphy 0-4, C Dwyer 0-2, E Rowland 0-2 frees, J Kelly, P Purcell and R King 0-1 each.

Dublin - O O'Rorke 0-13 (0-11 frees, 0-1 65), C Boland 0-3, R Hayes and D Sutcliffe 0-2 each, S Moran, E Dillon and and C Keaney 0-1 each. 

LAOIS:  E Rowland, L Cleere, M Whelan, J Phelan, J Kelly, R Mullaney, P Delaney, J Lennon, P Purcell, A Dunphy, M Kavanagh, E Lyons, W Dunphy, C Dwyer, R King.  Subs - E Killeen for Delaney (53 mins), C Phelan for Kelly (58 mins), S Bergin for King (63 mins), E Gaughan for Kavanagh (70 mins).

DUBLIN:  A Nolan, P Smyth, S Barrett, D O'Connell, C Crummey, S Moran, J Madden, S Treacy, T Connolly, C Keaney, D Sutcliffe, C Boland, O O'Rorke, R Hayes, E Dillon.  Subs - F Whiteley for Treacy (53 mins), P Ryan for Keaney (57), J Hetherton for Boland (65 mins).

Referee - A Kelly (Galway).

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