Hurling – NL Div 1B -Dublin 0-30 / Laois 1-18
DONAL Burke’s marksmanship led the way as Dublin bounced back from their opening round defeat to overcome hosts Laois in this HL Division 1B clash at MW Hire O’Moore Park, Portlaoise on Saturday.
The Na Fianna man tallied 0-18, including three points from play, as Mattie Kenny’s men recovered from a slow start to run out fairly convincing winners.
“To hit 30 points is pleasing,” Kenny said after the tie, adding that the volume of matches at this early stage in the campaign is exactly what his side needs.
“We’ve a lot of improving to do and have only three weeks of training done. Our hurling needs to get sharper.
“We expect the league and these matches will bring us on so we are looking forward to getting better as the year goes on.
“The league is really important this year as preparation for the championship. These games coming every week is exactly what we want; train during the week and then a match at the weekend. It’s what players, management and everyone involved in hurling wants.”
Laois made the better opening and led 0-4 to 0-1 inside five minutes with Paddy Purcell getting their scoring underway within ten seconds of the first whistle.
By the 11th minute the Dubs were level following points from Donal Burke – two frees – either side of a fine score from play from Daire Gray.
And further points from Burke and a point from Cian Boland, pushed Dublin 0-13 to 0-9 clear by the 34th minute but a brace of Ross King scores closed the gap for the O’Moore County men before half-time, 0-13 to 0-11.
But a flurry of frees stretched the sky blue lead out to 10 points.
The only goal of the contest – Cha Dwyer’s overhead finish to the net in the 53rd minute – fuelled local hopes of a Laois comeback.
But Dublin scores from Conor Burke and his namesake Donal, a massive long-range effort, kept Laois on the backfoot as Dublin triumphed by eight points.
Next on the agenda is next Saturday’s game against Antrim in Parnell Park.
“It will be a different type of challenge. They are a big, strong physical team,” Kenny concluded.