Dublin finished their Allianz National Hurling League Division 1B campaign on a positive note as they overcame Laois by twelve points at Parnell Park on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts were well deserving of that margin of victory as they dominated from the outset, but they experienced some struggles after half-time.
It took them seventeen minutes to open their second-half account as their interval advantage was whittled down to four points but a score from distance by Donal Burke helped settle the team as they pulled away in the final quarter.
Dublin were far more accurate and precise in the early exchanges and raced into a deserved four point lead by the 6th minute with a brace of Burke frees augmented by scores from play via Alex Considine and Danny Sutcliffe.
Laois replied through an Aidan Corby point a minute later but another Burke brace and a Cian Boland effort pushed their side 0-7 to 0-1 ahead with nine minutes played.
The visitors slowly but surely offered a threat of their own in attack with the lively Stephen Bergin popping over the first of his three points from play while Stephen Maher converted two frees in quick succession before the hosts struck for the game’s solitary goal in the 14th minute.
The move began with Cian O’Sullivan gathering possession forty metres from goal and while his powerful shot was well repelled by Enda Rowland in the Laois goal, Considine was on hand to first-time a rising effort crashing past the helpless Rowland to push his team 1-8 to 0-4 ahead.
Considine’s influence continue to increase as he added two superb points and while Bergin did likewise at the opposite end, Dublin continued to add to their tally through Daire Gray, Boland, Burke and Paul Crummey.
Laois hit a trio of points from placed balls just before the break, leaving Dublin 1-17 to 0-13 ahead by the turnaround.
The quality of the third quarter left a lot to be desired as the accuracy on show during the opening half was largely marked absent, leading to a frustrating and error-strewn encounter.
Both teams ceded possession all too frequently and while Maher added another three frees for the visitors, the goal required to ignite their comeback never looked likely to materialise.
Dublin had a couple of goal chances of their own after the break, with both O’Sullivan and substitute Fergal Whitely denied by the impressive Rowland but by that point, the hosts had regained their sharpness in front of goal.
Another substitute, Cillian Costello, popped over two cracking efforts and with Kilmacud Crokes duo Dara Purcell and Whitely adding three and two points respectively, Dublin eased home with a dozen points to spare.
Scorers – Dublin: D Burke 0-10 (7f, 1 ‘65’), A Considine 1-3, C Boland, D Purcell 0-3 each, C O’Sullivan, F Whitely, C Costello 0-2, C Burke, D Sutcliffe, D Gray, P Crummey 0-1. Laois: S Maher 0-11 (11f), S Bergin 0-3, J Kelly 0-2, A Corby, J Keyes, PJ Scully, T Keyes 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: S Brennan; P Doyle, E O’Donnell, E Moran; C Donohoe, P Smyth, D Gray; C Burke, C O’Leary; C O’Sullivan, D Sutcliffe, C Boland; D Burke, P Crummey, A Considine. Subs: D Power for Considine (25), D Purcell for Donohoe (half-time), C Costello for O’Leary (42), F Whitely for O’Sullivan (59), A Mellett for Sutcliffe (68).
LAOIS: E Rowland; D Hartnett, P Delaney, P Dunne; L Senior, R Mullaney, I Shanahan; J Kelly, P Lalor; J Keyes, S Maher, A Corby; S Bergin, W Dunphy, A Dunphy. Subs: P Purcell for Senior (42), R King for A Dunphy (42), T Keyes for W Dunphy (50), PJ Scully for Bergin (56), C Stapleton for Lalor (63).
Referee: Shane Hynes (Galway).