Laois 1-24 Dublin 2-31
Dublin hit 2-31 and had 10 points to spare over Laois in O’Moore Park but it wasn’t enough to send them through to the league semi-finals as they lost out to Waterford on scoring difference.
Laois and Dublin meet in Parnell Park in a month’s time in the opening round of the Leinster championship, so their league game was a glorified dress rehearsal.
In a high-scoring game, Dublin were comfortable winners in the end despite having Rian McBride sent off on a straight red midway through the second half.
At that stage they led by nine points and Laois had the wind.
Cheddar Plunkett's men did get the difference back to six on two different occasions but never looked like getting the goal they needed and Alex Considine hit the net in injury-time for the visitors to make sure of it.
Dublin hit a massive 0-21 in the opening half with their top scorer Donal Burke scoring 11 points in the first 35 minutes.
It was akin to a tennis match at times as the ball went over and back with minimal contact and though Laois got some nice scores, Dublin found the range easier with the wind at their backs.
Fergal Whitely, Davy Keogh and Rian McBride were all on target too on a couple of occasions as Dublin opened up a nine-point lead coming up to half time.
Laois reduced the gap when a James Keyes shot was fumbled by Dublin goalkeeper Seán Brennan and with Cha Dwyer and Podge Delaney leading the charge, it was back to six at half-time, 0-21 to 1-12.
An Eamon Dillon goal early in the second half helped Dublin go 12 clear at one point, though Laois kept the scoreboard moving with a couple of nice efforts from Jordan Walshe, and frees from PJ Scully and Dwyer.
An altercation between Dwyer and McBride led to the Dublin man getting a red in the 48th minute and though Laois cut into the lead as both teams made a raft of changes, a comeback never looked likely.
Laois were safe from relegation regardless and Dublin needed Waterford to beat Kilkenny to go through to the semi-final. That didn’t happen so both finish up their league campaigns this afternoon.
Attention now turns to their championship game on April 16th.
LAOIS: E Rowland; D Conway, S Downey, P Dunne; C Phelan, P Delaney (0-1), E Killeen; F C Fennell (0-2), J Keyes (1-2); P Purcell, C Dwyer (0-4), Jordan Walshe (0-4); M Dowling, W Dunphy, PJ Scully (0-7, six frees).
Subs: R Mullaney for Delaney (48 mins), R King (0-3, two frees) for Scully, C Byrne (0-1) for Dowling (both 52), C Comerford for Walshe (59), J Lennon for Purcell (64).
DUBLIN: S Brennan; A Dunphy, C O'Callaghan, E O'Donnell; J Madden, P Smyth, D Ryan (0-1); J Malone (0-1), C Crummey; D Burke (0-14, 10 frees, one 65), D Keogh (0-3), R McBride (0-3); F Whitley (0-7), P Crummey, E Dillon (1-1).
Subs: C Burke for C Crummey (inj, 32 mins), S Moran for Dunphy (39), M Schutte for Madden (40), A Considine (1-1) for P Crummey (48), C Currie for Schutte (inj, 63), A Mellett for Malone (65), C Dowling for Dillon (70).
Referee: C Cunning (Antrim)