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Con O'Callaghan scoring a goal against Laois. Ryan Byrne/INPHO

1-7 for O'Callaghan as Dublin storm into Leinster semi-final with 27-point win

The sides met in O’Moore Park.

Dublin 4-30

Laois 2-9

THE NUMBERS TELL the tale as defending champions Dublin stormed into the Leinster SFC semi-final with a 27-point victory over Laois in O’Moore Park.

Dublin were ruthlessly efficient throughout the afternoon, as Con O’Callaghan, Colm Basquel, Ciarán Kilkenny and Lee Gannon all scored goals in the first half. They had 11 different scorers on their report card by the full-time whistle, with O’Callaghan helping himself to 1-7. Eoin Lowry did bag two goals for Laois, but the difference in quality was clear from the outset.

After trading wides in the opening minutes, Paul Kingston gave the hosts an early lead as he tapped the ball over the bar from close range.

Mannion quickly produced the leveller following a Laois defensive error, before O’Callaghan and Basquel combined for 2-1 in three minutes to put Dublin ahead.

Brian Fenton kept the punishment coming with a point from the next score and by the 11th minute, the Leinster 13-in-a-row chasers were leading by 2-4 to 0-1. Mark Barry chalked up a badly needed point for Laois in the 12th minute.

ciaran-kilkenny-scores-the-fourth-goal Ciarán Kilkenny hits the net for Dublin. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Laois then managed to engineer a goal-scoring opportunity as Evan O’Carroll found a crack in the Dublin cover after collecting a long ball in. James McCarthy lunged in with a crucial challenge on the edge of the square and Kingston hit his second point of the afternoon from the resultant free.

Mark Timmons cut the gap further with a fine long-range effort, but that marked the end of Laois’ scoring spurt as they went without another point for the rest of the first half.

Meanwhile, Dublin had another 2-11 to give before the break. O’Callaghan and Basquel got Dublin’s scoreboard moving again with the Cuala forward scoring from a mark.

Mannion and O’Callaghan added frees to leave 10 points separating the sides as Dublin’s attacking superiority became more and more apparent. Lee Gannon notched their third goal shortly before the half-hour mark and when Ciarán Kilkenny opened his account on 27 minutes, Dublin had four of their six forwards on the scoreboard.

colm-basquel-and-sean-greene Dublin's Colm Basquel. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

And by half-time, all six had their names on the Dublin scoreboard as Seán Bugler and Ross McGarry both found their range, while Kilkenny brought his first-half tally to 1-1 with goal number four for the visitors. Both sides retreated to the half-time break with the scoreline reading 4-15 to 0-4 in Dublin’s favour.

O’Callaghan got Dublin off the mark with his second mark of the day to put 1-5 to his name. Having gone without a score since the 16th minute, Kingston pointed for Laois with his second free of the day. Barry and Basquel then traded points before Eoin Lowry hit a brace of vital goals for the hosts in as many minutes.

His first was a beautiful strike while his second was a gift for Laois following a mistake in the Dublin defence in the 44th minute. Kingston played an important role in the score as he popped the ball over the head of the Dublin keeper David O’Hanlon for Lowry to palm into the net.

That scoring spree prompted another rally from Dublin as O’Callaghan, Kilkenny, Fenton and corner-back Cian Murphy all split the posts to extend their dominance.

Dessie Farrell sent in replacements with fresh legs throughout the final quarter as the pace dropped in the game. Dean Rock made a strong claim for a starting spot the next day with three points after his introduction. That was effectively getting game time in the legs before their semi-final outing, while for Laois, it’s destination Tailteann Cup.

Laois scorers: Paul Kingston 0-3 2f, Eoin Lowry 2-0, Mark Barry 0-2 1 mark, Mark Timmons, Evan O’Carroll  0-2, 1f 1 mark, Padraig Kirwan 0-1 each.

Dublin scorers: Con O’Callaghan 1-7 [1f, 2 marks] Colm Basquel 1-5, Ciarán Kilkenny 1-4 Paul Mannion 0-3 1f, Lee Gannon 1-0, Brian Fenton 0-3, Dean Rock 0-3, Ross McGarry 0-2, Sean Bulger, Cian Murphy, Brian Howard 0-1 each.

1. David O’Hanlon

2. Cian Murphy 3. David Byrne 4. Daire Newcombe

5. James McCarthy 6. Jack McCaffrey 7. Lee Gannon 

8 Brian Fenton 9. Sean McMahon

10 Seán Bugler 11. Colm Basquel 12. Ciaran Kilkenny 

13 Paul Mannion 14. Con O’Callaghan 15. Ross McGarry


  • Brian Howard for McCarthy [HT]
  • Eoin Murchan for McCaffrey [45 mins]
  • Cormac Costello for O’Callaghan [55 mins]
  • Dean Rock for Mannion [58 mins]
  • Craig Dias for Fenton [63 mins]


1. Scott Osborne

2. Sean Greene 3. Trevor Collins 4. Robert Pigott

5. Seán O’Flynn 6. Mark Timmons 7. Padraig Kirwan

8. Kieran Lillis 9. Damon Larkin

10. Kevin Swayne 11. Paul Kingston 12. Patrick O’Sullivan

13. Eoin Lowry 14. Evan O’Carroll 15. Mark Barry


  • Séamus Lacey for Greene [HT]
  • Dylan Kavanagh for Pigott [38 mins]
  • Colm Murphy for Barry [49 mins]
  • James Finn for Swayne 55 mins
  • Alex Mohan for O’Flynn 63

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Written by The 42 Team and posted on

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