Dublin will take stopping on June 23

THE result was no great surprise, but then again it was unless you expected the 22-point victory by Dublin over hugely disappointing Laois in the Leinster senior hurling semi-final in Tullamore on Saturday evening, writes John Knox.

THE result was no great surprise, but then again it was unless you expected the 22-point victory by Dublin over hugely disappointing Laois in the Leinster senior hurling semi-final in Tullamore on Saturday evening, writes John Knox.

The consequence of the outcome was that Dublin now face All-Ireland and National League champions, Kilkenny in the Leinster semi-final in Portlaois on June 23. The second semi will be between Galway and Offaly.

The merits or otherwise of such a big and easy win for Dublin will arouse the usual debate in the media during the coming weeks about how worthwhile the match was; will it give the victors a false sense of their worth or are Dublin as good as the 3-23 to 1-7 scoreline might suggest.

That is all irrelevant stuff really, because all that matters now is June 23, a clash both counties have anticipated from virtually the day the draw was made for the provincial championship series.

But here’s something to ponder. The last time Laois and Dublin clashed in the Leinster championship was 2010. The scoreline was 0-25 (D) to 0-16 (L). The Dubs are a much, much better team now. They are real contenders for all hurling honours.

“Facing Dublin is probably the most dangerous game Kilkenny have played in a long, long time,” was the preview comment from former county star, Eddie Brennan, who retired form the inter-county game after last year’s All-Ireland final win over Tipperary.

See Kilkenny People this week