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Danny Blue hero as Dubs reign in rain

Dublin 0-13 Laois 0-11

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CLOSE CONTACT: Paddy Purcell of Laois (right) in action against Paddy Smith of Dublin during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B match at Parnell Park. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

CLOSE CONTACT: Paddy Purcell of Laois (right) in action against Paddy Smith of Dublin during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B match at Parnell Park. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

CLOSE CONTACT: Paddy Purcell of Laois (right) in action against Paddy Smith of Dublin during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B match at Parnell Park. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

It seemed pertinent to ask Mattie Kenny as he thawed out in the kitchen area in the Parnell Park clubhouse yesterday whether he was happy Dublin's preceding game with Laois had gone ahead.

The obvious way of looking at it was that Dublin managed to gouge out the win and thus, the two League points to finish with eight from 10 in Division 1B, a tally that could yet see them top the group if Waterford beat Galway in their rescheduled game.

A more sceptical response might have been that they won't take as much as a backwards glance at a match that for the purposes of analysis, was rendered redundant by the horrific weather conditions under which it was played.

Kenny found wisdom in the middle ground.

"There's always things to be learned," he said after a pair of late Danny Sutcliffe points and a Seán Moran '65 gave Dublin a two-point win they only looked likely to achieve late on

"You're always going to be challenged along the way," he pointed out.

"Whether it's by your opponent or decisions going against you or in today's case - the conditions. You're looking for the reaction of the players.

"Our lads dug in and dug deep and that's better than any number of training sessions."

It would be difficult to overstate quite how bleak it was in Parnell Park yesterday.

As word filtered its way through to the brave few who made their way to Donnycarney of postponements elsewhere, referee Liam Gordon was busy inspecting the pitch.

Treacherous

The consensus seemed to be that the sod was just about playable, with water gathering in shallow puddles on both sidelines and in front of the goal mouths.

The incessant rain during the game meant the pitch was well beyond the playable threshold by the end.

It meant that the simple act of changing direction during a run became treacherous.

And if anything, Dublin were guilty in the first half of trying to always do the right thing in possession when a more agricultural approach to distribution might have been preferable.

"When you're coaching guys and training guys to do a certain kind of thing, there's no switch in them they can just change," Kenny pointed out.

"I'm consistent in saying that we're always trying to play that heads-up hurling. To move the ball and give it to a guy in a better position."

Laois led for most of this game thanks to a sharper first half but the 57th minute sending off of Cha Dwyer meant they faced a frantic rearguard action to see out a result.

Kenny's introduction of Oisín O'Rorke and the belated positioning of Sutcliffe at full-forward both had the desired effects - although much of the spadework was done further out the pitch, as their manager was quick to point out.

"I thought Liam Rushe was immense today with the amount of ball he got," Kenny noted.

Tackles

"Liam was obviously picked at full-forward but he came out around the half-forward line and he was getting on some amount of ball and getting in some amount of tackles."

Postponements elsewhere mean Dublin know neither the date of their League quarter-final or their opponents, although Kenny didn't seem too perturbed.

"A quarter-final - whether that's a week's time or two week's time - we'll prepare for that," he stressed.

"And hopefully the conditions will be a bit better than they were today."

Amen.

Scorers - Dublin: D Sutcliffe, D Treacy (3f) 0-3 each, O O'Rorke, S Moran (1f, 1 '65) 0-2 each, S Barrett, J Hetherton, C Boland 0-1 each. Laois: M Kavanagh 0-4 (3f), C Dwyer 0-2, E Rowland (f), S Downey, A Dunphy, P Purcell, W Dunphy 0-1 each.

Dublin: S Brennan; P Smyth, E O'Donnell, J Madden; D Gray, S Moran, S Barrett; J Malone, R McBride; J Hetherton, D Sutcliffe, D Treacy; P Ryan, L Rushe, D Burke. Subs: O O'Rorke for Ryan (h-t), C Boland for Malone (47), E Dillon for Burke (47), R Hayes for Hetherton (53), F Whitely for Treacy (66)

Laois: E Rowland; J Phelan, M Whelan, D Hartnett; P Delaney, R Mullaney, L Cleere; S Downey, W Dunphy; A Dunphy, M Kavanagh, C Dwyer; P Purcell, N Foyle, S Maher. Subs: S Bergin for W Dunphy (23 inj), J Kelly for Maher (52), P Keating for Foyle (62), C Phelan for Downey (73)

Wides - Dublin: 8 (4 + 4). Laois: 3 (2 + 1).

Booked - Dublin: 3 (Moran 48, Smyth 52, Treacy 57). Laois: 2 (Dwyer 23, 57).

Sent off - Laois: 1 (Dwyer 57, 2nd yellow)

Ref: L Gordon (Galway)

Att: 3,000 (Est.)

Man of the match: Seán Brennan (Dublin)


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