Laois completely dominated Dublin for most of the game to book their place in the Bank of Ireland Leinster Senior Football Championship final on a scoreline of 0-16 to 0-14. Dublin will look at the huge number of missed points when they analyse this game, but Laois won the game through their sheer dominance of midfield.
Dublin opened the scoring, but it didn't take long for Laois to equalise and go into the lead. The first half was a rather dull, low scoring affair, but it was clear that Dublin were having difficulty getting their game together and Laois were controlling midfield. Dublin had two chances on goal both of which were brilliantly saved by the Laois goalkeeper Fergal Byron. The Metropolitans were missing a lot of simple kicks and becoming increasingly frustrated. At half-time there was an altercation in the tunnel as both sets of players collided running into the changing rooms and a melée ensued.
The second half opened in similarly competitive fashion. The Laois defence withstood some early Dublin pressure, and Ian Fitzgerald pointed to relieve his beleagured colleagues. Dublin began to get their act together though and scored four in a row through Ciaran Whelan, substitute Tomás Quinn, Tom Mulligan and Shane Ryan. A comeback seemed on the cards but Laois answered through Ross Munnelly and Brian "Beano" McDonald to get three points back. It is said that goals win games, but this match was all about the points. Laois were scoring regularly through their dominance of midfield thanks mainly to Padraig Clancy, while Dublin simply couldn't put the ball between the posts.
Even though Dublin got within two points of Laois at the end, they never looked capable of winning the match. Laois manager Mick O'Dwyer must now prepare his charges for a Leinster decider against his former employers Kildare.
Filed by Barry J Whyte