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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 31 July, 2014

Dublin’s second-half blitz downs brave Laois

Laois led at half time but the Dubs proved too strong for Tomás Ó’Flatharta’s men.

Michael Darragh MacAuley scored Dublin's second goal.
Michael Darragh MacAuley scored Dublin's second goal.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dublin 2-21

Laois 0-16

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.

John O'Loughlin with Cian O'Sullivan

John O'Loughlin was immense for Laois.

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.

Diarmuid Connolly scores a goal

Even on a quiet day Connolly managed 1-1.

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.

Laois

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).

Dublin

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).

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