Holders finish on front foot to down laois
Dublin 1-11 Laois 1-8
A misfiring Dublin finally found their range in the closing stages to eke out a laboured three-point success over a limited Laois in their disappointing Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Hurling Championship Round 2 encounter at Parnell Park last Saturday.
In what was understandably typical on their first championship outing of the year, the holders lacked cohesion for the large part and were indebted to a dominant final ten minutes as they booked their place in the semi-finals.
That such a scenario would unfold seemed dubious in the 50th minute as Dublin, already trailing by a point, were reduced to 14 men after the dismissal of Kevin Burke.
However, Burke's Na Fianna team-mate Sean Currie produced a hugely influential finale and after levelling matters through a '65' in the 53rd minute, he added two sumptuous points soon after to turn the tide in Dublin's favour.
It was Dublin that made the more accomplished start, despite the presence of so many championship debutantes.
And after Currie had served early notice of intent with a cracking point inside 50 seconds, they pounced for a fifth-minute goal through Kevin Desmond after Liam Murphy had prompted hesitancy in the away defence.
Points followed through Murphy and Emmet Allen but Dublin's momentum stalled from that point, with Laois scoring a goal of their own in the 16th minute as Oisin Bennett found the roof of the net from Daniel Comerford's cross-field ball.
The visitors, who arrived in Donnycarney on the back of an excellent win over Offaly the previous weekend, built on that score through a Padraig Delaney free and a James Keyes point.
But they ultimately proved too reliant on Bennett for scores, with their attack struggling to make an impression against a Dublin defence well marshalled by Ben McHugh and Luke Walsh.
Trailing by 1-6 to 1-5 at the break, Dublin fell further behind as Bennett converted a 34th minute free. The Dubs' errant shooting prompted nine wides over a ten minute period also undermined their challenge. However, Currie's leadership shone through by the end with substitute Jason Byrne landing an insurance point in injury time for Dublin.