Dublin reach semi final but play poorly

November 8, 2018

DUBLIN 1-12 LAOIS 0-12

Well the Dubs can’t be accussed of peaking too soon this summer after another lacklustre display was just about good enough to overcome Laois in Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park.

The Dubs, the forwards specifically, failed to fully find their rhythm over the course of the clash leaving the Dubs will a lot of improvement as they prepare for their All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Mayo on Sunday, September 2. Dublin’s defence was it’s strongest component yet the concession of so many frees in scoring areas is a major cause of concern.

The only and decisive goal of the game arrived in the 27th minute when the dynamic Michael Macauley had his fisted point effort deflected into the Laois net by the O’Moore County’s centre-back John O’Loughlin.

This came after a great intercept tackle by Paul Flynn on Colm Begley and a lung-busting 70-metre surging run from Macauley.

It was the score that had Dublin lead 1-6 to 0-7 at half-time and ultimately separated the sides after a very evenly balanced contest.

Laois got within a point of Dublin with 20 minutes remaining but crucially from a Dublin perspective that was as close as they got.

While the Dubs attack did not combine with any great fluency or potency all night it was half-back Kevin Nolan who kicked the most important point of the second half when he broke the well organised Laois cover before slotting over to give Dublin a 1-11 to 0-11 lead with five minutes to play.

Fittingly the final score of the game came from Stephen Cluxton whose three deadball scores were vital on a night when Dublin’s starting six forwards could only muster four points from play.

SCORERS – Dublin: B Brogan 0-4 (0-3f), S Cluxton 0-3 (0-2 45, 0-1f), P Flynn 0-2, E O’Gara, K Nolan, D Bastick 0-1 each, J O’Loughlin (own goal) 1-0. Laois: R Munnelly 0-4 (0-3f), C Kelly 0-3 (0-3f), MJ Tierney (0-2f), G Walsh 0-2 each, C Begley 0-1.
DUBLIN: S Cluxton, M Fitzsimons, R O’Carroll, P McMahon, J McCarthy, K Nolan, C O’Sullivan, E Fennell, D Bastick, P Flynn, D Connolly, B Cullen, B Brogan, MD Macauley, E O’Gara. Subs: C Kilkenny for Connolly (42), K McManamon for Bastick (52), G Brennan for McMahon (54), T Quinn for Brogan (62), J McCaffrey for O’Gara (71).
LAOIS: E Culliton, C Healy, K Meaney, P O’Leary. D Strong, J O’Loughlin, C Boyle, B Quigley, C Begley, R Munnelly, G Walsh, D O’Connor, B Sheehan, P Clancy, C Kelly. Subs: P McMahon for Walsh (50), MJ Tierney for O’Connor (54), P Cahillane for Kelly (57), K Lillis for Sheehan (65), S O’Leary for McMahon (71).
REF: C Reilly (Meath).