Donal Burke scores 0-18 as Dublin hurlers beat Laois

Dublin needed to pick up a win here to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle

Dublin 0-30 Laois 1-19

Donal Burke has made a happy habit of recording big scoring tallies against Laois - with the Na Fianna clubman hitting 0-18 in Dublin's National Hurling League win in O'Moore Park on Saturday evening.

He hit 1-16 when the sides met in last year’s Leinster championship and he followed it up with 18 points here, 15 of them from placed balls.

Having lost to Kilkenny in the opening round, Dublin were keen to pick up a win here to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle.

And apart from a spell in the first quarter when Laois started well, Mattie Kenny’s side were in control for most of the game.

Early points from Paddy Purcell, Cha Dwyer, PJ Scully and Ciaran Collier helped Laois into an early 0-4 to 0-1 lead with the aid of the breeze.

But the visitors soon settled and with Burke on from from frees and wing-back Daire Grey also getting in on the scoring the sides were level 0-7 apiece at the first water break.

Burke brought his first-half tally to nine points as Dublin brought a 0-13 to 0-11 lead in at half time and with Sean Moran, Conor Burke and corner back Andrew Dunphy pointing Dublin were 0-22 to 0-14 ahead after 50 minutes.

Laois were thrown a lifeline when Dwyer scored a fine goal but they couldn’t close the gap to any less than three points and Dublin hit a flurry of late scores to run out comfortable winners in the end.

Laois are at home to Clare next weekend while Dublin host Antrim.

DUBLIN: A Nolan; P Smyth, E O'Donnell, A Dunphy (0-2); D Gray (0-1), L Rushe, S Moran (0-1); C Burke (0-2), J Madden; D Sutcliffe, C Crummey, R Hayes; D Burke (0-18, 14 frees, 1 '65), E Dillon (0-1), C Boland (0-1). Subs: O O'Rorke for Boland and D Keogh (0-1) for Dillon (both 50 mins), R McBride (0-1) for Madden (54), F Whitely (0-1) for Hayes (57), J Malone for Moran (65), P Crummey (0-1) for C Crummey and J Hetherton for Sutcliffe (both 69).

LAOIS: E Rowland (0-1 free); D Conway, S Downey, D Hartnett; J Kelly, M Whelan, P Delaney; F C-Fennell, P Purcell (0-2); J Ryan, C Dwyer (1-3, 1 sideline), C Collier (0-1); PJ Scully (0-6 frees), R King (0-6, 4 frees), A Dunphy. Subs: J Keyes for Dunphy (46), C Comerford for Ryan and E Gaughan for Scully (both 53), C Stapleton for C Fennell and C McEvoy for Delaney (both 67).

Referee: Paud O'Dwyer (Carlow)

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