The Dublin hurlers have endured a very disappointing start under new manager Pat Gilroy but were far too strong for Laois in O’Moore Park to book a league quarter-final place and save themselves from a relegation battle.

A first round loss to Offaly put Dublin on the back foot and an unconvincing win over Antrim and defeats to Limerick and Galway meant they needed to beat Laois.

With Donal Burke and Ronan Hayes in top form throughout they never looked in any real danger. That duo hit 2-15 between them on what was a good afternoon’s work.

They were five points up after six minutes and a Ryan O’Dwyer goal in the 20th minute put them 1-9 to 0-2 clear.

Laois rallied briefly with nice points from Neil Foyle, Cha Dwyer and Enda Rowland - but Dublin finished out the half well and led 1-15 to 0-6 at the break.

While Laois battled hard in the second half and PJ Scully hit a string of nice points, Dublin never looked in any danger and two late goals from Hayes helped them to a 15-point win.

Laois now must go to Antrim for the relegation playoff with the loser making the drop to Division 2A for 2018.

Laois: E Rowland (0-1, f); J Phelan, L Bergin, L Cleere; P Lawlor, M Whelan, E Killeen; J Ryan, P Purcell (0-1); B Conroy (0-1), C Dwyer (0-3), W Dunphy; R King (0-3, 2f), N Foyle (0-2), M Kavanagh.

Subs: C Stapleton for Cleere (20), PJ Scully (0-6, 5f) for (33), C Taylor for Killeen (33), E Lyons for Purcell (69), C Phelan for J Phelan 969)

Dublin: A Nolan; P Smyth, B O’Carroll, E O’Donnell; S Barrett, C Crummey, J McCaffrey (0-1); C Costello, F McGibb (0-2); D Burke (0-11, 6f, 1 ‘65), C Keaney (0-1), D Sutcliffe (0-1); R Hayes (2-4), R O’Dwyer (1-1), P Winters.

Subs: J Madden for Barrett (inj - 24), C O'Sullivan for O'Dwyer (47), P Ryan (0-1) for Winters (58), R McBride for Keaney (63), C McBride (0-1) for Costello (67)