All-Ireland Hurling Preliminary Quarter-Finals- Magnificent Laois beat Dublin 1-22 to 0-23

Laois 1-22 Dublin 0-23

Laois shocked the hurling championship on Sunday afternoon with an impressive 1-22 to 0-23 win over Dublin at O’Moore Park. Portlaoise. Dublin were expected to win this game easily enough considering they were priced at 1/10 to win the game. However, Mattie Kenny’s men who knocked Galway out of the championship didn’t live up to what every pundit was saying and Joe McDonagh Cup winners Laois put in a might display to make a first quarter-final appearance since 1979. The reward for Eddie Brennan’s side is a quarter-final next weekend at Croke Park against Tipperary.

Laois started the game off well with Charles Dwyer pointing on the run before Mark Kavanagh doubled the lead from a 65. Laois then hit a couple of wides and Dublin took advantage to tie up the scores through a brace of points from Oisin O’Rorke. The sides all square 0-02 each after 6 minutes. Laois though were in no mood to let Dublin get ahead, they smashed in a goal on 9 minutes through Aaron Dunphy on 9 minutes. Paddy Purcell and Martin Kavanagh also pointed either side of the goal to make it 1-04 to 0-02. O’Rorke second score of the game was cancelled out by Dunphy before Cian Boland replied to another free from Kavanagh. The gap remained at 5 points, but Dublin came more into the game with Ronan Hayes (2) and Eamonn Dillion scoring points. Kavanagh notched his fifth free of the game and it was 1-08 to 0-7 after 26 minutes. Ross King scored a sublime point after some good build-up play, O’Rorke pointed a free after Enda Rowland made a good save from Eamonn Dillion to deny him a certain goal. Jack Kelly, Martin Kavanagh and Charles Dwyer propelled the O’Moore men into a 7 point lead. Dublin finished the half well though with Sutcliffe and Keaney both pointing. 1-12 to 0-10 at the break.

Oisin O’Rorke and Cian Boland (2) decreased the margin and the sides should have been level only for O’Rorke to miss two relatively easy enough frees by his standards. Willie Dunphy took advantage of those misses at the other end tapping over a nice score, before O’Rorke got back on track with a free to leave it 1-13 to 0-14 with just 25 minutes left. Aaron Dunphy and Mark Kavanagh (free) had Laois out to a four-point lead before Rowland denied Sutcliffe with an exceptional save. O’Rorke knocked over the 65. O’Rorke knocked over a free to reduce the arrears to just two, before St Jude’s man Sutcliffe made it just a one-point game. Dublin hit their fourth unanswered point through O’Rorke to bring the sides level but Dublin failed to get ahead in the game and Willie Dunphy and Kavanagh both pointed before Aaron Dunphy stretched the gap out to three. O’Rorke registered a few frees to keep Dublin in touch. Enda Rowland landed a monstrous free. Willie Dunphy pointed to leave it 1-20 to 0-20 with 63 minutes played.

Kavanagh pointed from a free. O’Rorke replied for Dublin with three minutes left on the clock. Paul Ryan knocked over a long-range free as the gap was out to two. With three minutes of additional time announced Enda Rowland smashed over a free from over 100 metres. This meant Dublin needed a goal to force extra time. John Lennon was sent off on a second yellow card which led to a free in for Dublin on the 21-yard line. Sean Moran stepped up to take the free only to see the ball deflected over the bar.

Laois claimed a deserving win amidst crazy scenes at Portlaoise with Laois supporters running onto the field in what was the biggest championship win in their history in my opinion.

Laois – E Rowland (0-2f); L Cleere, M Whelan, J Phelan; J Kelly (0-1), R Mullaney, P Delaney; J Lennon, P Purcell (0-1); A Dunphy (1-2), M Kavanagh (0-9, 7f, 1’65), E Lyons; W Dunphy (0-4), C Dwyer (0-2), R King (0-1). Subs: E Killeen for P Delaney, C Phelan for J Kelly, S Bergin for R King, E Gaughan for M Kavanagh.

Dublin – A Nolan; P Smyth, S Barrett, D O’Connell; C Crummey, S Moran (0-1f), J Madden; S Treacy, T Connolly; C Keaney (0-1), D Sutcliffe (0-2), C Boland (0-3); O O’Rorke (0-12, 10f, 1’65), R Hayes (0-2), E Dillon (0-1). Subs: F Whitely for S Treacy, P Ryan (0-1f) for C Keaney, J Hetherton for C Boland.

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