Two goals within the opening three minutes of the second-half proved decisive as Dublin eased to victory over a disappointing Laois at Parnell Park.
The visitors would have been pleased to have entered the break three points adrift given the wind advantage which their hosts had enjoyed.
However, the Midlanders were rocked by the concession of two goals inside 60 seconds as Oisin O’Rorke and David Keogh produced clinical finishes beyond Enda Rowland.
“We spoke to the guys at half-time and we said we might have a bit more space to attack into in the second half playing into the breeze. And it turned out that way,” said Dublin manager Mattie Kenny.
“I think it was a much better performance in the second half playing into the breeze.
“We were a bit disappointed with our performance in Kilkenny the last day. So we were looking for a better one today and a higher work rate.
“And in fairness to the guys, they delivered that in spades. We showed really good character out there and we worked really hard. We were better around the breaking ball and we showed more desire and deserved all we got out of the game.”
Following last week’s disjointed performance in Nowlan Park, the Dubs would have hoped for a positive showing from the outset and that arrived in the form of three frees from the lively O’Rorke and their first point from play by Donal Burke in the 7th minute.
Rowland had already made two saves to deny Eamonn Dillon and Danny Sutcliffe but was powerless to prevent the former from seizing on O’Rorke’s intelligent pass before firing low past the exposed Laois goalkeeper.
That score should have acted as a springboard for Dublin to drive but the opposite occurred as their confidence eroded and they were guilty of some rudimentary errors as the half progressed.
The visitors seized the initiative for the remainder of the half with Ciarán McEvoy pointing in the 9th minute and they fully deserved to draw level by the 22nd minute as Willie Dunphy shot low past Sean Brennan from eight yards.
Dublin’s error count continued to rise but they finished the half brightly as scores by Jake Malone and Burke edged them 1-11 to 1-8 ahead at the change of ends.
Another excellent McEvoy score in the opening seconds of the second-half hinted at further Laois pressure but O’Rorke’s opportunistic goal and Keogh’s smart finish were scores from which the visitors never truly recovered.
A degree of swagger returned to the Dublin play and they finished the third quarter on a high with O’Rorke heavily involved once again as he picked out Kilmacud Crokes’ teammate Ronan Hayes, who crashed high past Rowland.
Laois battled gamely to stay in touch but found it difficult to create many chances as Sean Moran swept to telling effect in front of his full-back line although Dunphy added his second goal in the closing stages to put a more flattering complexion on the final scoreline.
Scorers for Dublin: O O’Rorke (1-7, 6f, 1 ‘65’), D Keogh (1-2), E Dillon, R Hayes (1-0 each), S Moran (0-3, 2f), D Burke, J Hetherton (0-2 each), J Malone, R McBride (0-1 each).
Scorers for Laois: W Dunphy (2-1), R King (0-6, 5f), C McEvoy, S Bergin (0-2 each), J Kelly, E Rowland (f), P Purcell, J Ryan, E Gaughan, A Dunphy (0-1 each).
DUBLIN: S Brennan; C O’Callaghan, E O’Donnell, P Smyth; C Crummey, D Gray, J Madden; S Moran, J Malone; D Burke, D Sutcliffe, R Hayes; M Schutte, O O’Rorke, E Dillon.
Subs: D Keogh for Dillon (12), J Hetherton for Schutte (31), A Dunphy for O’Callaghan (41), F Whitely for Madden (47), R McBride for Sutcliffe (60).
LAOIS: E Rowland; D Conway, P Delaney, L Senior; C McEvoy, R Mullaney, J Kelly; D Hartnett, F Fennell; A Dunphy, P Purcell, J Ryan; R King, W Dunphy, S Bergin.
Subs: J Lennon for Mullaney (half- time), R Broderick for Senior (57), E Gaughan for A Dunphy (57), J Keyes for Purcell (63).
Referee: David Hughes (Carlow)