A PITCH INVASION at full-time by delirious supporters and a result to cause shockwaves throughout the hurling championship.
Seven days ago Laois were toasting their success in the Joe McDonagh Cup, today they followed it up with a stunning win over Dublin on their home patch in Portlaoise.
Laois forward Ross King celebrates with manager Eddie Brennan afterwards.
It was a statement victory in the All-Ireland series for a county that have been operating largely away from the limelight of late. Dublin were nudged towards the exit door and Laois have a Croke Park date with Tipperary next Sunday. They’re part of the last six in the hunt for the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2019. It’s momentous stuff for this group.
If the local support wanted an early boost to instil them with hope, they received it in the 10th minute. Aaron Dunphy batted home a shot to the net for Laois after Willie Dunphy had done wonderfully to keep the ball in play, cut inside and fire in a shot that Alan Nolan repelled yet he could not stop the rebound. That put Laois ahead 1-3 to 0-2 and set the tone.
Ryan Mullaney celebrates victory for Laois.
Laois went on to enjoy a five-point cushion at the break, 1-12 to 0-10, as they outscored Dublin 0-5 to 0-3 in the first-half period since the 21st minute. Dublin had struggled to get into their stride and replicate the high standards set against Galway in their round-robin triumph.
They began to tap into a scoring run after the break, firing over four of the first five points of the second half. The momentum seemed with them but Laois managed to steal a few points, Mark Kavanagh’s 48th minute free edging them four clear.
Enda Rowland produced a timely intervention to tip away a Danny Sutcliffe goalbound drive but Oisin O’Rorke did point the resultant ’65. Two more frees from the Kilmacud man and a Sutcliffe effort saw Dublin regain parity, 1-15 to 0-18.
A tough day at the office for Dublin boss Mattie Kenny.
Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
If it was expected at that juncture that Dublin would push into the ascendancy, Laois held their nerve and produced a telling retort. They reeled off three points without reply from excellent attackers Willie Dunphy, Kavanagh and Aaron Dunphy.
The belief grew entering the finale, Laois always managing to stay at least two points clear of Dublin. The favourites grew desperate, a stunning free from distance by Rowlands left them three adrift and chasing the game in injury-time.
Laois stood tall, their defence resolute. They coughed up a late 20-yard free from a tricky angle but Sean Moran’s blasted effort was diverted over by a packed goalmouth. Midfielder John Lennon was dismissed in the frantic finale for a second yellow card but that setback did not hinder Laois. This was an afternoon to savour.
Scorers for Laois: Mark Kavanagh 0-9 (0-7f, 0-1 ’65), Aaron Dunphy 1-2, Willie Dunphy 0-3, Charles Dwyer, Enda Rowland (0-2f) 0-2 each, Jack Kelly, Paddy Purcell, Ross King 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dublin: Oisin O’Rorke 0-12 (0-10f, 0-1 ’65), Cian Boland 0-3, Danny Sutcliffe, Ronan Hayes 0-2 each, Seán Moran (0-1f), Conal Keaney, Eamon Dillon, Paul Ryan (0-1f) 0-1 each.
1. Enda Rowland (St Lazerian’s Abbeyleix)
2. Lee Cleere (Clough-Ballacolla)
3. Matthew Whelan (Borris-in-Ossory-Kilcotton)
4. Joe Phelan (Camross)
5. Jack Kelly (Rathdowney Errill)
6. Ryan Mullaney (Castletown)
7. Pádraig Delaney (The Harps)
of the team
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8. John Lennon (Rosenallis)
9. Paddy Purcell (Rathdowney-Errill – captain)
10. Aaron Dunphy (Borris-in-Ossory-Kilcotton)
11. Mark Kavanagh (Rathdowney-Errill)
26. Éanna Lyons (Ballyfin)
13. Willie Dunphy (Clough-Ballacolla)
14. Charles Dwyer (Ballinakill)
15. Ross King (Rathdowney-Errill)
17. Eric Killeen (Rathdowney-Errill) for Delaney (53)
21. Conor Phelan (Castletown) for Kelly (58)
25. Stephen Bergin (Clough-Ballacolla) for King (63)
22. Eoin Gaughan (Camross) for Kavanagh (70)
1. Alan Nolan (St Brigid’s)
2. Paddy Smyth (Clontarf)
3. Shane Barrett (Na Fianna)
7. James Madden (Ballyboden St-Enda’s)
5. Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields – captain)
6. Seán Moran (Cuala)
18. Darragh O’Connell (Cuala)
8. Seán Treacy (Cuala)
9. Tom Connolly (St Vincent’s)
10. Conal Keaney (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
11. Danny Sutcliffe (St Jude’s)
12. Cian Boland (St Oliver Plunkett’s-Eoghan Ruadh)
13. Oisin O’Rorke (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. Ronan Hayes (Kilmacud Crokes)
15. Eamon Dillon (Naomh Fionbarra)
20. Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes) for Treacy (53)
26. Paul Ryan (Ballyboden St-Enda’s) for Keaney (58)
21. John Hetherton (St Vincent’s) for Boland (65)
Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway)
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