Allianz HL D1: Dublin triumph at Parnell Park
Allianz Hurling League Division One Group B
Dublin 1-29 Laois 0-20
By Paul Keane at Parnell Park
Alex Considine's early goal set Dublin on their way to their biggest win of this season's Allianz Hurling League campaign, a fitting note to sign off on for spring.
Considine struck 1-3 in the first 21 minutes though was taken off shortly after with an apparent hamstring injury.
That'll naturally be a concern for manager Micheal Donoghue though Dublin have over a month until they return to action in the Leinster championship against Antrim at Corrigan Park on April 22.
Donal Burke maintained his strong scoring form with 10 points for Dublin while there were strong performances too from the likes of Cian Boland and Conor Burke.
A poor third quarter from Dublin did give Laois the opportunity to reduce their arrears to just four points but a strong finish from the hosts, which included a big showing from substitutes, eased the 2011 league champions to a fully deserved 12-point win.
Laois will return to action next weekend for a relegation play-off encounter which will decide whether or not they stay in Division 1 for another season.
With relatively little to play for in group terms, both sides made several alterations to their teams beforehand.
Dublin showed four changes from the side that lost out to Kilkenny last weekend, drafting in Eddie Moran for his debut in defence along with goalkeeper Sean Brennan, defender Paddy Doyle and attacker Paul Crummey.
Laois, meanwhile, altered a third of their team following the punishing defeat in Antrim which consigned them to the play-off with defenders Padraic Dunne and Liam Senior, midfielder Padraig Lalor and attackers Willie Dunphy and Stephen Bergin all coming in.
Dublin looked supercharged from the off and immediately ran hard at the Laois defence, picking off points from Donal Burke and Considine and conjuring a fourth minute goal chance from Cian O'Sullivan.
Already it was looking ominous for a Laois side that had conceded 2-32, 2-31, 0-34 and 3-18 tallies in their previous four games.
Aidan Corby did pinch an early point for Laois but Dublin were hungrier, tidier with their play and ultimately more efficient as they opened up a 0-7 to 0-1 advantage.
Considine was sharpest of the Dublin attackers and was well placed to sweep home a 15th minute goal after O'Sullivan's driven shot was initially blocked.
Boland, back this season after a long-term injury, struck three first-half points for Dublin while Daire Gray came storming into the game with a terrific block and then a long-range score.
Laois relied on Stephen Maher's frees to keep them in the contest and three points from Bergin too left them just about in it at half-time as Dublin led 1-17 to 0-13.
Surprisingly, Dublin didn't score again until the 54th minute though Laois couldn't take advantage of the lull, picking off just three points, all frees from Maher, in this period.
Those scores did reduce the gap to just four points though and having led by nine at one stage late in the first-half, Dublin were now within catching distance.
That was as good as it got for Laois though who were largely overwhelmed from there on with Dublin getting a strong kick from the bench.
Substitutes Dara Purcell, Cillian Costello and Fergal Whitely weighed in with 0-7 between them while Burke continued to drive over the frees.
Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke 0-10 (0-6f, 0-1 65), Alex Considine 1-3, Cian Boland 0-3, Dara Purcell 0-3, Cian O'Sullivan 0-2, Fergal Whitely 0-2, Cillian Costello 0-2, Danny Sutcliffe 0-1, Daire Gray 0-1, Paul Crummey 0-1, Conor Burke 0-1.
Scorers for Laois: Stephen Maher 0-11 (0-11f), Stephen Bergin 0-3, Jack Kelly 0-2, Aidan Corby 0-1, James Keyes 0-1, Tomas Keyes 0-1, PJ Scully 0-1.
Dublin: Sean Brennan; David Keogh, Eoghan O'Donnell, Paddy Doyle; Conor Donohoe, Paddy Smyth, Daire Gray; Conor Burke, Chris O'Leary; Cian O'Sullivan, Danny Sutcliffe, Cian Boland; Paul Crummey, Donal Burke, Alex Considine.
Subs: Darragh Power for Considine 25, Dara Purcell for Donohoe h/t, Cillian Costello for O'Leary 43, Fergal Whitely for O'Sullivan 60, Aidan Mellett for Sutcliffe 68.
Laois: Enda Rowland; Padraig Delaney, Ian Shanahan, Padraic Dunne; Liam Senior, Ryan Mullaney, Donnchadh Hartnett; Jack Kelly, Padraig Lalor; Stephen Maher, Aidan Corby, James Keyes; Aaron Dunphy, Willie Dunphy, Stephen Bergin.
Subs: Ross King for Aaron Dunphy 43, Patrick Purcell for Senior 43, Tomas Keyes for Willie Dunphy 50, PJ Scully for Bergin 56, Colm Stapleton for Lalor 63.
Referee: Shane Hynes (Galway).