Home GAA Talking Points As Laois Shock Dublin To Progress To Quarter Final

Talking Points As Laois Shock Dublin To Progress To Quarter Final

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Qualifiers Round 4, O'Moore Park, Portlaoise 7/7/2019 Meath vs Clare Laois' John Lennon and Oisin O'Rourke of Dublin Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Laois 1-22 Dublin 0-23

Reporting by Marisa Kennedy in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise. 

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Laois will take on Tipperary in the All Ireland quarter-final next weekend in Croke Park after a deserved two-point win over Dublin in O’Moore Park on Sunday.

It was a sensational performance from Eddie Brennan’s men that took the Dublin side by surprise. Aaron Dunphy’s goal in the first-half proved the difference but it was their stalwarts Mark Kavanagh and Enda Rowland who fired the home side to victory.

Read all the major talking points from the game below.

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Laois Sweeper: Laois last played a sweeper in their Division 1B clash with Waterford earlier this year but today their effective midfielder, John Lennon, was deployed in the role. The 22-year-old enjoyed a fruitful first opening period, catching three clean balls though he struggled to match the pace of Oisin O’Rorke at times. Lennon was sent off on a second yellow in the dying seconds but in the process, prevented a certain goal.

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Poor Shooting Taints Occasion: Dublin first wide in the 12th minute though it was only their third shot of the day. By that stage, Laois had four to their name. By the end of the first half, Dublin had registered nine while Eddie Brennan’s side had seven, including three-in-a-row which greatly diminished the game as a spectacle. The visitors added another five shots to their wide tally within the opening 15 minutes of the second half.

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Laois Target Alan Nolan’s Puckouts: Despite their lack of a traditional midfield, Laois dominated the Dublin puckouts. ‘Cha’ Dwyer scored a sensational point straight from Nolan’s puckout in the first half, before Dublin were bullied off the ball moments later and Paddy Purcell sent it straight over the bar.

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Laois Delivery Lets Them Down: The defence of the home side was physically dominant in the opening period of the game but it was their delivery that tainted their performance. Dublin went on through a purple patch in the 20th minute, scoring three points in the row, but Laois dominated possession next. However, Jack Kelly and Joe Phelan both sent three wasted opportunities into the forward line which gave Willie Dunphy and Ross King no chance.

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Late First Half Surge: Just as Laois looked to be tiring during the closing stages of the first half, the home side dug deep and moved up a gear, scoring three blistering points in quick succession from Mark Kavanagh, Jack Kelly, and ‘Cha’ Dwyer. However, Dublin replied with two of their own from stalwarts Danny Sutcliffe and Conal Keaney and Laois would have been happy to hear the half-time whistle to quel their momentum.

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Laois Weather Dublin Rampage: The visitors came onto the pitch with a point to prove in the second half and dominated possession, repeatedly attacking the Laois defence. Keaney, O’Rorke and Cian Boland all scored early points and it would have been much worse for Laois had the Kilmacud Crokes man not missed three placed balls. It took a long-range effort by Mark Kavanagh in the 47th minute to settle his side back down before Enda Rowland pulled off a magnificent save.

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O’Rorke The Saviour For Dublin: Laois’ biggest enemy today was their wide count. In the 54th minute, O’Rorke leveled the game with his ninth placed ball of the day. Luckily for the home side, Kavanagh and Aaron Dunphy responded well but O’Rorke reduced the gap once again. With the influence of Eamon Dillon curbed by the sweeper, Dublin were over-reliant on O’Rorke as their main threat in the forward line.

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Brennan And Laois Produce Masterclass: No one gave Laois any chance in this game. Before the ball was even thrown in, plans were being made for Dublin to face Tipperary in the quarter-final. After winning the Joe McDonagh Cup just seven days ago. they celebrated for two days before getting down to business to produce one of the biggest shockers of the season. From their effective use of the sweeper, to bypassing midfield to cutting out the danger men, Laois dominated from one to 15. It was fitting that Enda Rowland was the final hero with the last score of the game and his 52nd point overall.

About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. She is a former reporter with Sporting Limerick and is a huge fan of the GAA. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter