DUBLIN PUT A poor start behind them to score 2-13 in the second half against a brave Laois team in the Leinster Senior Football Championship quarter-final.
The Dubs trailed at half time by 0-10 to 0-8 but thanks to a goal blitz midway through the second half, they came through as easy 11-point winners.
Jim Gavin’s substitutes managed 0-9 between them but the two crucial goals came from Diarmuid Connolly and then Michael Darragh MacAuley, after Bernard Brogan came off after just 23 minutes through injury.
Alan Brogan scored the first point of the game within a minute but inspired by captain Ross Munnelly, Laois soon took control of proceedings.
Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO
His two early points put Laois 0-3 to 0-1 ahead after four minutes, and Tomás Ó’Flatharta’s men would maintain their two-point advantage for the first quarter as the teams went point for point.
Dublin finally found a way through a stubborn Laois defence after 15 minutes as Paddy Andrews latched on to a breaking ball off Eoghan O’Gara only to see his effort rattle the crossbar. Two minutes later Diarmuid Connolly would again hit the woodwork, and it seemed Laois had survived the Dublin onslaught.
Jim Gavin wasted no time in introducing Jack McCaffrey, and a late flurry of attacks before the interval called Graham Brody in to make a fantastic double save.
The second half coughed and spluttered before Kevin McManamon, on as an early substitute for the injured Brogan, slotted over two fine points.
Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO
Dublin kicked on as Laois struggled to come out of defence in possession, and on 46 minutes the inevitable happened. Paddy Andrews who was in fine form for the Dubs found Diarmuid Connolly with a cross-field ball, and the half-forward comfortably finished in to the bottom left corner.
Six minutes later an unfortunate fumble by Paul Begley broke to MacAuley who did his very best to break the net and leave Dublin six ahead.
Despite the excellence of Ross Munnelly, John O’Loughlin and Colm Begley, Laois couldn’t eat into the Dubs’ two-goal advantage and as Jim Gavin introduced Dean Rock, Cormac Costello and Bryan Cullen for the final fifteen Laois had no answer.
A late trio of scores first by Rock, and then Costello, had the Hill in full voice as Jim Gavin now looks ahead to a semi-final clash with Wexford.
Scorers for Laois: Ross Munnelly 0-7 (2f); Donal Kingston 0-3 (0-2f); Darren Strong 0-2; James Finn, David Conway, John O’Loughlin, Niall Donoher 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dublin: Diarmuid Connolly 1-1; Paul Flynn, Cormac Costello, Dean Rock (3f) 0-3 each; Michael Darragh MacAuley 1-0; Stephen Cluxton (2 45’), Kevin McManamon 0-2 each; Paddy Andrews, Bryan Cullen, James McCarthy, Alan Brogan, Eoghan O’Gara, Bernard Brogan (1f), Cian O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
1. Graham Brody
2. Padraig McMahon
3. Paul Begley
4. Peter O’Leary
5. Darren Strong
6. Stephen Attride
7. Colm Begley
8. Kevin Meaney
9. John O’Loughlin
10. James Finn
11. Donal Kingston
12. Billy Sheehan
13. Ross Munnelly
14. Conor Meredith
15. David Conway
Substitutions: Niall Donoher for Sheehan (31), Eoin Lowry for Meaney (51), Robbie Kehoe for Attride (58), Evan O’Carroll for Conway (64), Paul Kingston for Finn (66).
1. Stephen Cluxton
2. Philly McMahon
3. Rory O’Carroll
4. Jonny Cooper
5. James McCarthy
6. Nicky Devereux
7. Darren Daly
8. Michael Dara MacAuley
9. Cian O’Sullivan
10. Paul Flynn
11. Paddy Andrews
12. Diarmuid Connolly
13. Alan Brogan
14. Eoghan O’Gara
15. Bernard Brogan
Substitutions: Kevin McManamon for B. Brogan (23), Jack McCaffrey for Daly (29),Bryan Cullen for O’Gara (44), Cormac Costello for A. Brogan (50), Dean Rock for O’Sullivan (58), Paul Mannion for Andrews (66).
Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh).