An away day to remember for Dublin as they battled Laois in Nowlan Park in the 2016 Leinster opener
What was then a rare occurance in the Leinster Football Championship, Dublin fans took to the road ascending on Kilkenny to watch their beloved Senior Footballers start the journey to what would be their sixth consecutive provincial title. And the outcome was no different to any championship game in Croke Park, as Dublin silenced Laois despite spilling two goals.
And it got off to a buzz as early as the 15th second of the game when Dean Rock read the bounce of Brian Fenton’s delivery perfectly to send the ball into Graham Brody’s net.
Laois responded when Gary Walsh clipped over a point but that momentum quickly faded as Dublin bagged their second goal in the 5th minute. James McCarthy creating, and Diarmuid Connolly was the finisher and this match was essentially a done deal.
At the interval Dublin were 2-12 to 0-7 to the good with the point kicking of Dean Rock, Ciaran Kilkenny and Diarmuid Connolly a joy to watch at times.
Rock finished on 1-10, Connolly bagged 1-04 and Kilkenny registering 0-04.
Laois started after the break at an 11 point deficit and they had only 14 men from the 28th minute on. John O’Loughlin was shown a straight red card for striking Michael Darragh MacAuley off the ball.
In front of an attendance of 16,764, thoughts turned to how much Dublin would accelerate clear by in the second-half but Laois were organised and prepared.
They profited with Donie Kingston in attack and the Laois supporters celebrated raucously as they struck two goals. Paul Cahillane converting a penalty in the 43rd minute after Damien O’Connor was hauled down.
Then Kingston transferred the ball perfectly four minutes later for Stephen Attride and he banged the ball past Stephen Cluxton. A Ross Munnelly point in the 50th minute lifted Laois spirits further as they trailed 2-14 to 2-08.
But six points was as good as it go for them. Rock spearheaded Dublin’s scoring drive after that as they outscored Laois by 0-07 to 0-02 in the remainder of the game to advance in Leinster.
Scorers for Dublin:
Dean Rock 1-10 (6f)
Diarmuid Connolly 1-04
Ciaran Kilkenny 0-04
David Byrne 0-01
Kevin McManamon 0-01
Con O’Callaghan 0-01
Scorers for Laois:
Paul Cahillane 1-02 (1-00 pen, 2f)
Stephen Attride 1-00
Donie Kingston 0-02 (1f)
Damien O’Connor 0-01
Darren Strong 0-01
John O’Loughlin 0-01
Gary Walsh 0-01
Kevin Meaney 0-01
Ross Munnelly 0-01
1. Stephen Cluxton
2. Philly McMahon
3. Jonny Cooper
4. David Byrne
5. James McCarthy
6. Cian O’Sullivan
7. John Small
8. Michael Darragh Macauley
9. Brian Fenton
23. Paul Mannion
11. Dean Rock
12. Ciaran Kilkenny
13. Kevin McManamon
14. Diarmuid Connolly
15. Bernard Brogan
17. Denis Bastick for MacAuley (blood) (28)
30. MacAuley for Bastick (44)
21. Michael Fitzsimons for McMahon (44)
19. Cormac Costello for Brogan (50)
25. Con O’Callaghan for Mannion (55)
20. Darren Daly for O’Sullivan (58)
22. Eric Lowndes for Cooper (62)
26. Eoghan O’Gara for Rock (62)
1. Graham Brody
2. Damien O’Connor
3. Mark Timmons
4. Paul Cotter
5. Stephen Attride
6. Darren Strong
7. Colm Begley
8. Conor Meredith
9. Brendan Quigley
10. Paul Cahillane
11. John O’Loughlin
12. Gareth Dillon
13. Donal Kingston
14. Evan O’Carroll
15. Gary Walsh
22. Kevin Meaney for O’Carroll (29)
24. Niall Donoher for Walsh (HT)
25. Ross Munnelly for Dillon (46)
19. Alan Farrell for Cahillane (62)
17. Gearoid Hanrahan for Cotter (65)
26. Ruairi O’Connor for Meredith (65)