All Ireland SHC Qualifier: Dillon inspires Dublin
All Ireland SHC Qualifiers Round 1
DUBLIN 2-28 LAOIS 1-15
By William Dunne at Parnell Park
Dublin’s Eamon Dillon and David Treacy scored a combined 2-13 as a strong second-half performance saw off Laois in their All-Ireland SHC Round 1 Qualifier.
Laois impressed in the first-half and only trailed by a solitary point at the half-way mark, but an early goal from Dillon following the restart put Dublin on the road to victory.
Dillon opened the scoring for the Dubs, however, Laois scored four points unanswered, during a spell that saw midfielder Patrick Purcell impress.
Laois were without captain Ross King – who got received a red card against Carlow last weekend, but were the better side in the opening 20 minutes.
Treacy’s free-taking kept Dublin in touch with Cahir Healy acting as Laois’ sweeper in the opening period.
It took until the 24th minute before Dublin got their noses back in front through Cian O’Sullivan, albeit momentarily, as Purcell soon replied with what was his fifth score of the game – all from play.
Dublin opened up a three-point gap towards the end of the first-half, but a Mark Kavanagh free, followed up by a monster effort from goalkeeper Enda Rowland, had Laois go into the break just a point behind.
Laois answered Dublin’s first two scores of the second period, and just when the game was crying out for a goal, Dillon stepped up in the 40th minute to put the Dubs four points clear – an onslaught from Ger Cunnigham’s men followed.
Kelly’s men then went a whole 30 minutes without a score as Dublin began to dominate midway through the second-half.
David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan and Fergal Whitely came off the bench with both players contributing two points.
Dillon impressed, and scored three points from play before driving the final nail in Laois’ coffin in the 67th minute, with a thunderbolt of a goal which he sent straight to the top-right corner.
To compound the misery of Laois, Healy was sent off for a second-bookable offence shortly after Dillon’s second goal.
In injury time, the O’Moore County registered a consolation goal through their goalkeeper, who slotted a 21-yard free to finish with a personal tally of 1-1.
Scorers for Dublin: Eamon Dillon 2-4, David Treacy 0-9(6fs), Cian O’Sullivan, Ben Quinn 0-3 each, Donal Burke, David O’Callaghan, Fergal Whitely 0-2 each, Shane Barrett, Niall McMorrow, John Hetherton (1f) 0-1 each.
*Scorers for Laois: *Patrick Purcell, Mark Kavanagh (3fs) 0-5 each, Enda Rowland 1-1, Cian Taylor, Matthew Whelan, Cahir Healy, Ciaran Collier 0-1 each.
*DUBLIN: *Conor Dooley; Cian O’Callaghan, Eoghan O’Donnell, Fionn O Riain Broin; Sean Moran, Chris Crummey, Shane Barrett; Ben Quinn, Niall McMorrow; Ryan O’Dwyer, Liam Rushe, Eamon Dillon; Cian O’Sullivan, David Treacy, Donal Burke.
Subs: Fergal Whitely for McMorrow (48), David O’Callaghan for O’Sullivan (59), Fintan McGibb for Burke (61), John Hetherton for O’Dwyer (65), Tomas Connolly for Moran (65).
LAOIS: Enda Rowland; Dwane Palmer, Leigh Bergin, Lee Cleere; Cahir Healy; Eric Killeen, Matthew Whelan, Ciaran Collier; Patrick Purcell, Jack Kelly; Ryan Mullaney, Sean Downey; Mark Kavanagh, Neil Foyle, Aaron Dunphy.
Subs: Cian Taylor for Kelly (HT), Aidan Corby for Dunphy (52), Stephen Bergin for Downey (56), Padraig Lawlor for Collier (70), Donncha Harnett for Killeen (70).
REFEREE: John Keenan (Wicklow).