/ GAA

Dublin 2-21 Laois 0-16

Updated: Sunday, 08 Jun 2014 21:47 | Comments

Laois' Darren Strong with Darren Daly of Dublin battle for the ball
Laois' Darren Strong with Darren Daly of Dublin battle for the ball

Holders Dublin experienced some early nerves on their championship opening day before eventually securing a 2-21 to 0-16 Leinster quarter-final win over Laois.

Jim Gavin's Leinster and All-Ireland champions trailed by two points at half-time to a Laois side on form after beating Wicklow.

But a powerful second-half display that included goals from Diarmuid Connolly and Michael Darragh Macauley secured a 29 June clash with Wexford for Dublin.

The league champions upped the intensity noticeably after the break and strode clear in front of 40,960.

Not for the first time, Kevin McManamon inspired them with some heroics from the bench.

McManamon came on late in the first half and levelled the scores with back to back points after the restart.

It began a four-point run of scores that put Dublin into a lead they would not relinquish.

Boss Jim Gavin used his full allocation of six substitutes and both Cormac Costello and Dean Rock shot three points each.

It was Rock's first involvement of the season after a serious knee injury picked up last autumn.

Laois were unable to cope with Dublin's superior power and movement in that second half having begun brightly.

Four points from experienced forward Ross Munnelly helped them to lead by 0-10 to 0-08 at half-time.

Dublin only led briefly early on in the half when Alan Brogan opened the scoring.

It prompted fears of complacency in the Dublin ranks after a successful Allianz League title defence.

Darren Strong also shot points for Laois while Donie Kingston was a livewire at full-forward and difficult to handle.

There were signs that Dublin were capable of making serious gains though as Macauley and Paddy Andrews both hit the woodwork with goal chances.

They were a reinvigorated side in the second half and once they took a hold of the game they duly closed it out.

James McCarthy cut through the Laois defence for a point to put Dublin 0-13 to 0-11 up before Connolly netted.

Andrews picked out Philly McMahon with a great diagonal ball and he laid off to Connolly for a close-range finish.

There was a sense of inevitability about proceedings at that point and Dublin's second goal arrived 10 minutes later through Macauley.

Paul Begley failed to clear from the Laois defence and McManamon recycled the ball out to Macauley who hammered it to the roof of the net.

It gave Dublin a six-point advantage that they almost doubled by full-time. Rock and Costello shared the game's last six points between them as Dublin cruised over the winning line.

Dublin: S Cluxton (0-02, 1f, 1 45); P McMahon, R O'Carroll, D Daly; J Cooper, N Devereux, J McCarthy (0-01); MD Macauley (1-00), C O'Sullivan (0-01); P Flynn (0-02), A Brogan (0-02), D Connolly (1-01); P Andrews (0-01), E O'Gara (0-01), B Brogan (0-01, 1f).

Substitutes: K McManamon (0-02) for B Brogan, J McCaffrey for Daly, B Cullen (0-01) for O'Gara, C Costello (0-03) for A Brogan, D Rock (0-03, 3f) for O'Sullivan, P Mannion for Andrews.

Laois: G Brody; P McMahon, P Begley, P O'Leary; D Strong (0-02), S Attride, C Begley; K Meaney, J O'Loughlin (0-01); J Finn (0-01), C Meredith, B Sheehan; R Munnelly (0-07, 2f), D Kingston (0-03, 2f), D Conway (0-01).

Substitutes: N Donoher (0-01) for Sheehan, E Lowry for Meaney, R Kehoe for Attride, E O'Carroll for Conway, J Finn for Kingston.

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).

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