Impressive Laois too strong for Antrim
O’Moore County book a quarter-final date against Carlow
Recently crowned Division Two A hurling league champions Laois caused a surprise at O’Moore Park on Saturday evening when they defeated Kevin Ryan’s Antrim charges who had looked impressive in their opening round dismissal of Westmeath.
In front of a crowd of 2,500 the visitors took an early lead with a point by Shane McNaughton but it was short lived. Matthew Whelan picked out Laois full forward Tom Fitzgerald and he beat his marker to smash a powerful shot into the roof of the net.
Laois remained in front until McNaughton fired over his third point in the 21st minute but Laois drew level three minutes later with a point from a placed ball then went three in front after Zane Keenan posted his opening point after 30 minutes.
Shane McNaughton was keeping his side in touch from placed balls and in the closing minutes Neil McManus and Brian Dune traded points leaving the home team in front 1-6 to 0-7 at the interval.
Laois showed vast improvement on the change over and went four points clear after 47 minutes but the visitors kept them in check until ten minutes from time. Zane Keenan put five between the teams and after Eoin Reilly denied Darren Hamill a goal Laois held on to book a quarter-final place against Carlow.
LAOIS: E Reilly; B Stapleton, B Campion, JA Delaney; C Healy, M Whelan, G Burke; J Fitzpatrick, J Walsh; S Maher (0-4) , Z Keenan (0-5) , W Hyland (0-3) ; J Brophy, T Fitzgerald (1-1) , B Dunne (0-3) ; Subs: N Foyle for J Walsh (46 mins), B Duggan for G Burke (53 mins), C Dunne for J Walsh (60), PJ Scully for T Fitzgerald (69 mins).
ANTRIM: R McGarry; B McFall, A Graffin, O McFadden; C McKinley (0-1), N McAuley, J McGreevey (0-1) ; M Donnelly, T McCloskey; P Shiels (0-1) , N McManus (0-5) , E McCloskey; S McNaughton (0-5) , C Carson, C Clarke. Subs: D Hamill for C Clarke h/t, KB McShane for M Donnelly h/t, R McCloskey for J McGreevy (0-1 ) 45m,
Referee: Colm Lyons Cork.