Dublin through to hurling semis

Dublin 0-25 Laois 0-16

Dublin 0-25 Laois 0-16

All bar three of Dublin's points came from open play as they advanced to a Leinster SHC semi-final against Kilkenny today.

The teams were level on six occasions at Nowlan Park this afternoon before Dublin took a 0-10 to 0-8 interval lead.

Shane Durkin, Liam Rushe and All-Star Alan McCrabbe impressed for Anthony Daly's men, scoring 0-14 between them, while Willie Hyland and John Brophy kept Laois in touch.

However, Dublin were strongest on the restart, with Laois reduced to 13 men following second yellow cards for Brian Campion and Colin Delaney.

Last year's beaten Leinster finalists certainly looked the more composed side in the opening half, and quickly claimed the first score of the game from full-forward Simon Lambert in the second minute.

Laois had a good grip on the midfield sector, where Conor Dunne and James Walsh performed strongly early on, but were let down in the shooting stakes by a wasteful attack.

The O'Moore men registered eight first half wides, but were level on six occasions with the Metropolitans during that spell.

Indeed, Laois led Dublin twice in the opening 12 minutes, with scores from Hyland and Zane Keenan giving them a 0-2 to 0-1 lead in the sixth minute.

A long range clearance by Joey Boland was gathered by Rushe to tie the game at 0-2 apiece in the ninth minute, but Laois regained the lead thanks to a brace of Hyland points.

Dublin's quickness on the ball, economical stick work and clinical play up front helped them get on top as the half progressed.

Durkin, Rushe and Paul Ryan claimed scores in quick succession as the Dubs went 0-5 to 0-4 in front by the end of the opening quarter.

Team captain Brian Campion and fellow half-back Matthew Whelan marshalled well in the Laois defence, but the underdogs' forwards amassed six wides between the 18th and 25th minutes.

The sides were level for the sixth time when a second John Brophy point tied the game at 0-7 apiece in the 32nd minute, but Dublin found an extra gear before the break.

Daly's charges were now hitting top form and outscored Laois by three points to one in the closing stages of the opening half, with Durkin, McCrabbe and John McCaffrey ensuring a 0-10 to 0-8 buffer.

Laois' strike rate failed to improve as the second half start as Tommy Fitzgerald and Joe Fitzpatrick registered wides inside 45 seconds.

Lambert, Paul Ryan and Rushe fired quick points to push the Dubs 0-13 to 0-8 ahead by the 39th minute, before Hyland and Whelan replied for Laois.

However, a three-point deficit was as close as the O'Moore men would get to Dublin in the closing 35 minutes. Campion's dismissal, ten minutes into the second period, was a major blow to his side's chances. He picked up a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge.

The 14 men of Laois tried to show more urgency but their wides tally increased and Dublin added some cushion to their lead thanks to scores from McCrabbe, Rushe, McCaffrey and Peter Kelly.

Points from Laois substitutes Colin Delaney and John Purcell left four points between the sides with 12 minutes remaining, but Dublin were doing just enough to look comfortable and closing points from McCaffrey and Liam Ryan completed the job. Laois' woes were compounded when Colin Delaney walked late on for a second bookable offence.

Scorers: Dublin: A McCrabbe (0-1f, 0-1sl), S Durkin (0-1f) 0-5 each, L Rushe 0-4, J McCaffrey, P Kelly 0-3 each, P Ryan, S Lambert 0-2 each, L Ryan 0-1

Laois: W Hyland 0-6 (0-3f), J Brophy 0-3, Z Keenan 0-2, James Walsh, T Fitzgerald, M Whelan (0-1f), C Delaney, J Purcell 0-1 each

DUBLIN: G Maguire; N Corcoran, T Brady, O Gough; S Hiney, J Boland, M O'Brien; J McCaffrey, S Durkin; P Kelly, L Rushe, P Ryan; D O'Callaghan, S Lambert, A McCrabbe.

Subs used: K Flynn for O'Callaghan (25 mins), L Ryan for Flynn (52), P Carton for P Ryan (56), S Ryan for Brady (66), R Trainor for Gough (68).

LAOIS: E Reilly; J A Delaney, D Maher, C Healy; B Campion, M Whelan, M McEvoy; C Dunne, James Walsh; J Fitzpatrick, Z Keenan, W Hyland; T Fitzgerald, N Foyle, J Brophy.

Subs used: C Delaney for Foyle (46 mins), J Purcell for Fitzpatrick (48).

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork)9

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