Thursday 18 January 2018

The game at a glance

Man of the match: Liam Rushe (Dublin), He may have been only on the field for 38 minutes before Anthony Daly summoned him ashore but he was magnificent in that spell, particularly when the game was remotely competitive. His first goal put Dublin in the driving seat and his second knocked all life out of Laois as he ended up with 2-2.

Turning point

The writing was already on the wall for Laois when Rushe got Dublin's first goal in the seventh minute. Dublin had already struck three points when he got in behind the cover to find the net, and even at that early stage, the losers were on a damage-limitation exercise.

Talking point

Dublin notched an impressive 3-23 but they will know it will be a very different story against Kilkenny. The real talking point, however, was the poor quality of the Laois display and their general lack of resistance. They were miles behind Dublin in everything and it did not make for pretty viewing.

Magic moment

Rushe's 23rd-minute goal -- he gained possession on the right, burst past two defenders and drove an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net to end all Laois resistance.

Ref watch

In a one-sided match, the referee generally has little to do and that was the case for Wexford's James Owens. A good evening, displayed common sense and allowed play to flow.

What they said

Anthony Daly (Dublin manager):

"We had to put relegation behind us. Some times county managers give out about club championships but having a round after that was a blessing in disguise. It allowed lads to get away. They kept themselves sharp. We can only be as ready as we can be."

Teddy McCarthy (Laois manager):

"They hit the ground running but the one good thing is we have the qualifiers. It's up to the lads to respond."

Match statistics

Wides: Dublin 9 (4); Laois 5 (3)

Frees: Dublin 15 (6); Laois 9 (6)

Yellow cards: Dublin 2 (C Keaney, P Kelly); Laois 5 (C Murray, C Coonan, G Burke, W Dunphy, B Smith)

Red cards: Dublin 0; Laois 0

What next?

Dublin will play Kilkenny on June 23 in Portlaoise, while Laois face Limerick in the qualifiers on the same day.

Irish Independent

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